“I was so nervous back there! I really thought Joshua could vote me out, but instead he took Slippy out. I don’t think I was ever so relieved to not see my name on a ballot before. Still, it sucks seeing Slippy go like that, one day from the finals.” Sophie noted. “That said, if I was in Josh’s shoes and was forced to vote one of them out I probably would have voted Slippy out as well. I liked him and all but…Yeah, I don’t think I could have beat him in the end.”
For the first time in the entire game, Sophie latched onto Joshua in a grateful hug. “You have no idea how thankful I am that you kept me, Josh!” She thanked. “I was so worried back there!”
Joshua couldn’t help but chuckle. “Yeah…I have to admit it was actually a pretty easy choice. Don’t take it personally but I felt Slippy was a way bigger threat.” He replied.
“Believe me, I felt the same way.”
“…Did…You mean what you said about slippy winning if I took him to the end?”
“Oh, absolutely. He already had Krista and me voting for him, as well as a very-likely Kamek and Rosalyn. On a jury of seven that’s enough to win right there.” Sophie replied casually. “But, like I said, if I was the one to win that Immunity I probably would have voted Slippy out, too.”
“Yeesh. It’s kind of weird when you think about it. Slippy Toad as the favourite to win.”
“I guess that’s just the type of season we’ve been in.”
“When your biggest obstacle in the way of your victory is Slippy Toad, you know you’re playing an unconventional season. But, I overcame everything and I’m in the finals. All that’s left between me and the win is Sophie, but even then I know I can’t let my guard down. Just because I felt Slippy was a bigger threat doesn’t mean Sophie isn’t a threat at all.” Joshua explained. “It was just a case of me choosing which one I felt more-comfortable in the end with, and my gut instinct told me that at least with Sophie I’d have a better chance at winning.”
“So what now? I guess we don’t really have much else to do until tomorrow’s council.” Sophie rubbed her head as she and Joshua sat by the fire pit.
Joshua folded his arms. “You afraid you’ll get bored waiting for tomorrow night?” He asked.
“Of course! There’s just the two of us now and things to do around camp were already dwindling to the point where I was getting bored waiting for the CHALLENGE!” Sophie said. “I know for a fact you were just as bored as I was, anyway.”
Joshua responded with a sigh. “Yeah, the past few days it’s just been putting in time.” He admitted.
“What the heck are we going to DO until we’re told we gotta go to council? The wait alone is gonna kill me!” Sophie said
“I guess you’ll just have to make do. It’s kind of what you’ve been doing this whole game, hasn’t it?” Joshua smirked.
Sophie gave a playful smirk in return. “And what are YOU going to do now that there’s no more idol in the game or strategy to talk?” She asked.
“Sophie, give me some credit. The LAST thing I am is a strategybot.”
“Hey, you throw a snowball, I throw one back.”
“…What kind of analogy is that?”
“I dunno. Sounded cooler in my mind.”
“As far as votes go I feel I have a chance at beating Sophie. More of a chance than against Slippy, anyway. But I know that she’ll do whatever it takes to win…Or at least make the most of her time at council. She may not ACT like she knows how to be cutthroat but she definitely does.” Joshua folded his arms. “This makes me a bit nervous going into tomorrow, but I’ve overcome everyone else in the game so far. All that’s left is her.”
“So what now?” Sophie asked. “We just…Go to bed like we always do? The feeling of waking up on the final day’s gonna feel a bit weird.”
“It’ll be a mixed bag of emotions for sure. One that I look forward to but at the same time am not sure how I’ll take it when it happens.” Joshua admitted. “Maybe I’ll just take a page out of your book and take it as it comes.”
“Come to the lazy side, Joshua.” Sophie teased. “The joys of running into things not knowing what to expect are things I live for.”
“I wouldn’t have guessed.” Joshua chuckled. “Didn’t your town go through that ‘Weirdmageddon’ thing a while back? Going through that didn’t turn you off of the weirdness at all?”
“You kidding? I spent two days with a literal mongoose for a right arm. It was like having a living, possessed sock puppet! It was freaking awesome!”
“I guess that answers my question.”
“Joshua’s the only person left standing between me and the win, and I can seriously almost taste victory. The fact that I’m here doing this right now is giving me butterflies, but the notion that I’m literally one day away from the finale and have a legitimate chance at winning is nerve-wracking!” Sophie said. “I’ve been winging it for most of the game, and I could actually win the darn thing! I haven’t been nervous about anything more in this entire game, and I’ve nearly been voted out a couple times!”
(Charmandeer Tribe; Day 39)
Sophie was up first and, seeing that Joshua was still sleeping, decided to go for a walk through camp. Although she was tempted to jump off the waterfall some more, she knew that’d wake Joshua up and she figured she’d best let him rest for the upcoming Tribal Council. Instead, she simply sat down and gazed out at the ocean, noticing the glisten of the sunrise off the surface of the water.
“Man. That’s a pretty view. I kinda wish I took the sights in a little more.” Sophie lamented before noticing that there were floating iceburgs just off the coast of the polar area of the island, and floating close to the dense jungle area of the island. “…How the heck are climates able to stay so close together like that?...Man, I gotta book a vacation to this place. The weirdness here is off the chart.”
“This whole game I’ve been focusing on two things: Getting myself and my friend through the vote one day at a time, and having a good time. Because of that, things have kind of been a bit of a blur and I don’t think I ever really slowed down to kind of just…Take in the surroundings. I was mainly focused on the game and not the location.” Sophie sighed. “It sucks that I never really took the time to appreciate the island itself. Look past the weird and it’s actually real beautiful. It’s a good thing I also include the weird in my assessment, because it just makes me love the place even more.”
Sophie took a moment to gaze out at the scenery before her thoughts drifted to the game, and the fact that she was going into this final Tribal Council completely-unsure of her chances. She hated thinking about what COULD happen, but on the final day she couldn’t help herself.
“Ugh…Some people will probably still be sore at me, but I know I’ve got Krista’s vote and I really think Kamek will vote for me as well.” Sophie mused to herself. “Man…I’m definitely going to need to work for some votes, though…”
Sophie glanced down at the base of the camp, where Joshua was seen getting up and wandering off in another direction. “People could totally reward Joshua as a way to spite me and the things that I ended up being a part of. I don’t think they’d accept me saying that I didn’t mean any of the things I did. I was all just to get Krista and I through the day.” She admitted. “Ugh…Where are people voting going into this?”
“I think it’s safe to say that I may have made a few villainous moves in this game, even though it was never really my intention to be the villain. That said, I think I may have pulled off more moves than even Joshua did in the long run, so I think several of the jurors will either vote FOR me or AGAINST me.” Sophie folded her arms. “I know Joshua realizes this, and he’ll likely bring it up at council as a way to refresh everyone’s memory that I was kind of responsible for…More of the things that happened in the game than he was. That could be his best ammunition against me…”
While Sophie was taking in the sights from atop the cliff, Joshua was taking a final stroll through the camp, as if to reminisce about the game one more time before everything ended. Taking the time to walk around the TNT and Nitro boxes around the camp, Joshua got to the edge of the camp and brushed aside some foliage, revealing a vast view of a dense, untouched jungle with ancient ruins off in the distance.
“Well, I guess this is a farewell to Wumpa Island. Bittersweet in the end.” Joshua mused. “You’re a nice place to look at, but you’ve caused me no end of headaches with the insane craziness that you brought to this season.”
Joshua took the time to pull a Wumpa fruit off a tree and started eating it as he gazed out at the jungle. “I wonder what kind of insane deathtraps are out there, waiting to be found. Crash Bandicoot himself probably stumbled over them a few times…” He mused. “Even still, I’m glad we didn’t go exploring. We may not have made it back.”
“The island itself contributed a LOT to the craziness this season, with the deranged wildlife, the resetting dynamite boxes and the weird vortex portals that took us everywhere. The island took an already-unpredictable season and amped it up to eleven.” Joshua folded his arms. “I want to blame the island for making things so difficult and frustrating for me and helped the fact that not a lot went the way I was expecting it to, but in the end I guess I can’t blame anyone but myself for walking into this thinking that I’d be able to predict any outcome. This game in general has a tendency to cause overconfident players to regret being overconfident.”
“I think I can rely on Zera and Tamara to vote for me since the only alternative is to vote for Sophie…But the others I don’t know.” Joshua shook his head absent-mindedly. “But I don’t know how much wiggle room I’ve got if Sophie’s got more than one vote locked down.”
Finishing off the Wumpa fruit, Joshua tossed the core into the jungle and turned around to slowly make his way back to camp, only to stop when he felt the core bounce off the back of his head. Rubbing his head, Joshua turned around, annoyed, and watched a skunk emerge from the bush, standing on its hind legs and shaking a paw at him angrily.
“Alright, I’m sorry!” Joshua moaned as he grabbed the Wumpa fruit core and walked off to dispose of it properly. “Yeesh. The wildlife has is out for me or something.”
Joshua arrived at the fire pit and tossed the core into the pit, knowing that when Sophie and he would start a fire later it would burn the remnants. “Well, I can’t say that this game hasn’t been eventful. I just wish that so much wasn’t as my expense.” He rolled his eyes. “Maybe I should be thankful that the mutant wolf seemed to finally lose interest in me…”
“I know Sophie may not look like a threat at first glance, but I know that tonight may be more of an uphill battle than it seems." Joshua shook his head. "Yeah, I’ve got two votes, but I know Sophie has at LEAST one vote; TWO if Kamek liked her like Slippy said he did. I’m not going to go easy on her tonight.”
A while later, Joshua and Sophie were sitting around a lit campfire, for the last time of the season, knowing that they would be needing to depart for council fairly soon. The two sat in silence for a while, not sure if they could open a conversation with the other, much less carry one.
Finally, Joshua broke the silence. “I guess this is it, huh?” He asked. “Calling it a surreal feeling that the game’s almost over sounds a bit cliché but I’m not sure how else to word it.”
“Yeah. I get the feeling.” Sophie nodded. “You think you’re ready for tonight?”
“You kidding? My mind’s been going a mile a minute today. I’ve hardly had the time to think up potential answers to the questions the others can ask.” Joshua shook his head. “But I guess that’s kind of your strategy going into tonight?”
“Strategy? What strategy?” Sophie joked.
Joshua couldn’t help but give a chuckle. “I hope you realize that I’m not going to hold back tonight, right?” He asked. “Yeah, I know I probably didn’t have a shot against Slippy but I’m still going to make sure that no punches are pulled.”
“Yeah, I know. You want the win. So do I. I was going to go into tonight punches swinging regardless of what you did, so now that I know that you’re going to try your hardest to get the win I won’t feel so bad if I beat you.” Sophie grinned.
“You know, I’m very capable of beating you. I wouldn’t be so confident.” Joshua informed.
“Hey, I said ‘if’, didn’t I?”
The two sat around the campfire for a bit longer, wondering when they should make the move to go to council. The treemail to summon them to council had already arrived, so now they were just sort of sitting around the fire pit for no reason.
“…You want to head out and get this show on the road?”
“…Maybe a few more minutes. I just want to take the island in one last time.” Sophie said as she stood up. “Maybe one more jump off the waterfall for the heck of it.”
“Yeah, I figured you’d be up for that.”
“Going into tonight I know I can win if I play my cards right. Sophie’s probably got some people mad at her and I can turn that anger into some votes if I answer uestions the right way. I know I’m deserving of the win; I just need to prove it now. I’m going into this as just needing two more votes to solidify a win.” Joshua explained. “Sophie’s a heck of a player and I know she’ll do whatever it takes to win since she’s been doing whatever it took to survive this entire game. I just need to find a way to weaponize that against her.”
“Joshua’s a good guy and he definitely knows his way around Survivor, or at least the traditional version and rules of Survivor. But I know he’s smart enough to win in a jury vote since that’s a section of Survivor you can’t make crazier by going to a new, fun location.” Sophie pointed out. “I’m actually worried about my chances going into this, but I’m trying to reman optimistic and I know that I’ve got a shot regardless. I’ve survived this entire game, and all I need is, like, two more votes to guarantee a win. I can do that. I KNOW I can.”
Joshua and Sophie walked into Tribal Council for the last time, carrying their torches. To say that Papu Papu’s hut looked like it had seen better days was an understatement, as not only were the patches fixing the early-made holes still very-visible in the ceiling and walls, but the hole that Drillbit made was still fresh and uncovered and there were now very-visible tire tracks in the floor, the remnants of Slippy’s exit, and they looked like someone had already tried scrubbing them out but to no avail.
Papu Papu, looking like he was dead inside by this point, simply sat on his throne with a bored, expectant expression, as if he was somehow expecting the final two to cause even-further damage to his hut. Joshua and Sophie wisely decided to ignore Papu Papu and sat down on the two lone stumps set out on the floor, getting the final Tribal Council underway.
“Welcome to the final Tribal Council of the season. Joshua and Sophie, you two have outlasted sixteen other players to have the priviledge of making it the full 39 days. Not many people can say that, after all. You’ve managed to get through a chaotic season of exploding boxes, mad scientists and off-the-wall challenges and you guys are still standing, although considering some of the stuff that has happened I’d probably assume that you guys are just done with this season, which…Is understandable.” SSBFreak shrugged. “However, one task stands before you on your path to the million and that’s each other. You will be duking it out against each other for the votes of our complete jury of seven for the opportunity and chance to get the elusive four votes needed to win this season of Survivor Central Hub. Of course, we wouldn’t have a council without our jury, so let’s bring them in to see who you’ll be trying to pitch yourself to.” He continued. “Kamek, Tamara, Zera, Rosalyn, Krista, Drillbit and Slippy, who was voted out at the last Tribal Council.”
The full jury of seven walked into Tribal Council and made their way over to the jury bench, with Slippy bringing up the rear. Slippy was noticeably wearing a sporty-looking jacket, a pair of slacks and large shades, although the shades were still too small to fit over his spread-apart eyes. It looked like Slippy was trying to look cool and no one really had the heart to tell him otherwise.
“These seven previous boots will, in a moment, cast a vote that will award one of you the million dollars and title of Sole Survivor. In a minute they’ll all take turns asking you questions to see if you can either help them make up their mind or get them to change it.” SSBFreak explained. “Before we do that, I’ll give you each a chance to make a final case for yourself to explain to the jurors an overall plea as to why they should vote for you. We’ll go alphabetically as always, so would you go first, Joshua?”
Joshua nodded as he started to make his case. “I came into this having looked up every twist and cliché in Survivor, going over all of the past seasons and even going through the spin-offs to make sure that I had my bases covered. That said, I was taken for a ride almost from the start, as if Survivor was showing just how unpredictable it could be. I’ll fully admit that I was a little overconfident at times, but I still think I was able to keep my sanity long enough to recover and make a few moves without making people mad.” He explained. “I feel that I deserve to win because I played hard and, even though I’ll admit not a lot went my way for a while, I was still able to work with the plays that I was given and pull myself back together and back into the game. Did I make some…Less-than-smart choices? Sure. I think pretty much everyone in this season’s guilty of making at least one bad choice that they’re sure to regret. But I feel that the fact that I was able to make it here despite everything getting turned on me at multiple points in the game says a lot about my willpower and determination as a player, and my passion for the game itself.”
“Sophie, would you continue?”
Sophie, seeing that Joshua was done, took her turn to speak. “I’ll admit that I didn’t have any strategy when I came onto this show. I was just here to have a good time and enjoy the experience for as long as possible, and I did whatever I could to make sure that my best friend and I survived the vote to enjoy the experience another day. In doing so, I…Kind of became the villain, which I swear was something I never wanted to become. All I could think of was getting through the vote with my bestie and I just never really clued in to how if affected everyone else. I’ll apologize to everyone for becoming the villain, but I won’t apologize for making the moves when I did.” Sophie explained. “I did what I needed to do to survive, because I know that if I didn’t I probably would have been voted out a long time ago. I think I deserve to win because, even though I never really intended to, I kind of made a lot of moves in this game. I know that what I did could equate to making people bitter at me, but I don’t regret making the moves because it kept both Krista and I around as long as we could get together. I never strayed from who I am, and that’s in the end someone who just wants to enjoy herself and wants to make the most of everything.”
“Okay. Thank you both for making your cases. We’ll just have to see if they help or hurt your chances with some undecided voters, but for now, let’s move onto the juror questions. They’ll be going one at a time and in a random order.” SSBFreak said. “Rosalyn, will you please go first?”
Rosalyn nodded, stood up and made her way over to the two finalists. “Hello, you two. First off I’d like to congratulate you both on making it this far. The competition’s gone by fast for sure, but in the end I guess you two were the ones with the longevity.” She admitted. “Now, I’d like to say that I think it’s pretty obvious that I was uncomfortable with how I played the game and purposefully misled a lot of you all with lies that I’m still not used to telling. I think I’d like to ask what you two regret most in this game, because I think that, no matter how much we may deny it, there’s always something nagging at the back of your mind that will keep you up at night. Sophie?”
“I regret that it kind of took too long for me to realize that Krista and I had unintentionally become the villains. Neither of us wanted to be seen as the bad guys. We just wanted to have fun.” Sophie said. “I never even clued in until Drillbit compared us to him, and that’s kind of when I realized that I was guilty of the same things as he was.”
“Would that have made a difference to your gameplay?” Rosalyn quizzed.
“I guess we’ll never know. I don’t think it would have changed my outlook or style of gameplay but I think I would have at least been more-aware of how what I did was going to affect everyone else.”
“What about you, Joshua?”
“Well, I probably didn’t clue in to Drillbit’s true nature as quickly as I hoped, and looking back on it it’s probably something I’m going to be made fun of a lot for not considering Drillbit was a bigger threat than we thought.” Joshua shook his head.
“He fooled almost everyone and only got so far because we didn’t take him seriously.” Rosalyn admitted.
“That may be so but the fact remains that a lot of headaches could have been saved for us all if I caught on earlier. He caused two members of my alliance to get booted pre-merge back-to-back when we all thought Lightning was the only one at fault.”
“Okay. I guess that’s all I kind of came for.” Rosalyn said as she turned and walked back to the bench.
“Tamara, you’re up.”
The tiger girl stood up, gave a stretch and made her way over, passing Rosalyn on her way to her spot in front of the two finalists. “I’ll just say that this game’s been unlike anything of what I was expecting coming into this. However, it was largely because nothing really went the way I was thinking things would go during the early days of the game, thanks in no small part to one of you two sitting in front of me now.” Tamara explained.
“You’re still bitter?” Sophie lifted an eyebrow.
“This is my time, Sophie! Joshua, I don’t have anything for you.” Tamara explained. “I’ll just say that you’re getting my vote tonight, but there are some things I need to say to Sophie.”
Joshua gave a shrug. “Fine by me.” He said.
Tamara then took the time to turn her attention to Sophie. “Sophie, all I can say is that I’m more than a little mad at you for everything you did. You and Krista completely made me look like an idiot, on camera and in front of a watching audience.” She explained. “You said that your goal was to get to the end with Krista, but I guess I was just a tool to you guys that you felt you could just toss aside when you were done with me?”
Sophie stared flatly. “Tamara, Krista and I literally never voted for you until you were voted out. Sure, we discussed when would be a good time to vote you out, but we never plotted against you otherwise.” She said.
“I gave you two a chance in the early days of the game by bringing you two into an alliance!”
“Your ‘strategy’ consisted of you laying in the shelter, having Krista and I do all the work for you, expecting us to tell you everything and even stupidly trying to vote out one of our best challenge players for, like, REAL petty reasons.” Sophie said. “It wasn’t plotting against you, Tamara. It was just not going along with whatever plans you were thinking of.”
“You never tried to tell me that!”
“Uh, yeah we did. We told you we thought voting off Zera super-early was stupid.” Sophie shrugged. “Look, Tamara. I’m sure you’ve given this talk to Krista at Ponderosa and I’m sure my answer’s going to be similar to hers: Yes, we acted like we were going along with you because it kept you from targeting us if you thought we were loyal to you. But you can’t expect to laze about in the shelter, get allies to do all the work for you and expect to get rewarded for it in the end. Yeah, you wised up and started playing for real, but come on. If you actually managed to make it to the end by not doing anything and bossing other people around, do YOU think you would ACTUALLY have a chance at winning?”
Tamara paused for a moment before grunting and turning. “It doesn’t matter. My vote’s still not going to you, Sophie.” She said. “I’m done.”
“Okay…Drillbit, how about you next?”
Drillbit pushed himself to his feet and made his way over to the finalists, hands in his pockets. “So…Yeah, I’ll admit I didn’t really plan much in the way of questions. I just figured I’d wing it.” He admitted.
“That sounds like you, anyway.” Joshua smirked.
“Buuuuut then I started thinking about how much I enjoyed the game. I had a blast and I didn’t become something I wasn’t. Just so we’re clear, I don’t have any hard feelings towards you guys for voting me out. I had a good time regardless.” Drillbit shrugged. “But anyways, this brings me to my question: What did you guys enjoy the most during the game?”
Sophie was quick to jump in and go first. “I just enjoyed the experience in itself. It’s an exotic island with a lot of weird, messed-up things happening on it constantly! Seriously, I kind of want to come back here on my own time sometime. But the fact that I was able to enjoy the full 39 days out here, and go almost the entire way with my best friend, was probably the thing I enjoyed the most about the game.” She explained. “Yeah, I enjoyed the island, location and game, but the fact that I was able to enjoy it with someone else just made it so much better.”
Joshua spoke next once Sophie was done. “I’d also say the experience, but for different reasons. As a Survivor fan, coming onto the show itself and playing the game for real has always been a dream come true for me, regardless of how much I’ve ragged on the island or the unpredictable season. I guess it doesn’t matter how many times I get blown up or chased through camp by a mutant wolf; I’m playing Survivor for real and that’s something that you just can’t replace.” He added. “Do I wish things could have happened differently for a few cases? Yeah, of course, but I guess when you play the game there are things you can’t exactly prepare for.”
“Yeah, I guess I can attest to that…And contributed to a lot of it as well.” Drillbit said as he turned around. “Thanks for that, guys. I’m done.”
Krista got up and made her way over as Drillbit returned to his seat. “Hey, Sophie! I’m so glad that you made it to the end! You totes made me proud!” She said happily.
“I was doing it for you as well after you were eliminated, Krista.” Sophie grinned.
“Well, I also wanted to let you know that lasting almost the full game with you was awesome and it totally wouldn’t have been the same if we didn’t click the way we did. I think it’s obvious that I’m gonna be voting for you tonight, Sophie, so I’ve got nothing else for you. I’ll instead ask Josh something.” Krista continued.
“Go get’em.” Sophie winked.
Krista nodded and turned to Joshua. “Josh, you’re a decent guy. Albeit someone who goes off about things like edgics and stuff like that so…Yeah, half the time I don’t think anyone really understood what you were talking about in that regard.” She shrugged. “That said, there were times where I think you may have thought too far ahead of yourself and didn’t truly think about what you were during in the present.”
Joshua lifted an eyebrow. “What do you mean?” He asked.
“The Yasmin vote, for starters. Sophie knows what I’m talking about. YOU came to US with the idea to vote out Diego that night, which caused you to split your OWN alliance because you had an urge to make a game-changing move or something.” Krista said. “If you had just stuck with your original idea your alliance would have become unstoppable until the swap, but I guess the Survivor fan in you was just crying to be let out, wasn’t it? Now, not that I’m complaining since that vote allowed Soph and I to get our way through the vote with Diego intact, but you then proceeded to deflect blame onto Sophie and I.”
Joshua’s eyes widened. “Now wait a minute…” He said.
“Now, Sophie and I decided to let it slide because, quite frankly, making a scene about that would have just attracted attention, and I get that it was all part of the game and a way to keep Zera’s wrath off of you for screwing it up, but I’ve never seen you own up to it.” Krista continued. “So here’s your chance. Are you willing to apologize to us and Zera and own up to that mistake in particular?”
Joshua hesitated for a moment, as if trying to find the words, and then gave a reply. “Okay. I did that in the heat of the moment because, yes, I saw an opportunity to make a move and I took it. In hindsight it wasn’t smart and it was just more out of impulse than anything. I can acknowledge when I did something stupid.” He admitted. “I’m sorry that I tried to deflect blame and that someone innocent paid for it. That mistake was all on me.”
“It’s good to see you finally taking responsibility for that. I’m still going to vote for Soph, but the apology was welcome regardless.” Krista nodded as she walked off. “Done!”
“Slippy, you’re up.”
Slippy got up and made his way over to the two finalists, standing before them and awkwardly rubbing the back of his head. “Wow. Hard to imagine that just a day ago I was on the other end of this. Maybe it’s for the best that I didn’t get to the finals because I’m honestly not really good at making my case to a bunch of people, as you guys probably know.” He joked.
“Quit being so hard on yourself.” Sophie encouraged.
“Eh, it’s all good. But, that said, I still didn’t relly have a lot of time to think of jury questions and a number of the others wanted to make small speeches, so I guess I’ll keep it short and an easy question for you both.” Slippy continued. “Who, out of everyone here, would you prefer to have as a final two partner in this situation.”
“Definitely Krista, in case that wasn’t obvious! The two of us made a tight deal that we would go to the end with each other over anyone else because that’d just make us enjoy the final council that much more.” Sophie said.
“But wouldn’t that have made for a close vote since you two played similar games?” Slippy quizzed.
“Uh, yeah? We both knew it’d be a close vote if we both made it to the end and we were even swearing to each other that we’d never attack each other even if urged to by any of the jurors.” Sophie shook her head.
“I, personally, would LIKE to say Zera since she was someone I enjoyed talking to. We liked poking fun at each other, but we knew that it was never anything serious because we both knew we were kind of the only ones we could count on for a rational thought in our alliance.” Joshua explained.
“But?” Slippy lifted an eyebrow.
“BUT I don’t think I’d be able to win against Zera, so I personally probably would have preferred Tamara as a finals partner instead because I know I’d be able to win against her and not be called out for taking the easy vote to the end because she was actively trying to play as the game went on.”
“Okay. Makes sense to me. Thanks for answering guys.” Slippy nodded as he walked away. “I’m done now.”
“Zera, you’re next.”
Getting up from her spot, Zera made her way over to the finalists as Slippy returned to his seat. Like Slippy, Zera rubbed the back of her head. “Well, this is honestly a bit awkward. I was originally planning on grilling Joshua about his reasonings about the Yasmin vote…” She admitted.
“When did you find out about it?” Joshua asked.
“After Krista was eliminated. It was the first thing I asked her.” Zera put her hands into her pockets. “Now, I’m more annoyed than disappointed at you, Josh. Yeah, what you did kind of screwed us all over, Yasmin especially, but I guess I always had an inkling of a thought that you were trying to cover your tracks. Plus, making a move is something I’m sure someone as obsessed with Survivor as you are would want to do when you get the chance.” She said.
“Ouch. You wound me.” Joshua joked, placing a hand over his heart.
“Nah. The island’s done enough wounding you as it is.” Zera smirked. “But that’s something you’ve still gotta work on. Granted it only seemed to happen once, so maybe you wised up after that happened. Sure, maybe our big alliance COULD have made the dents we were hoping to early on, but what sucks the most about it is that Yasmin got voted out for something she didn’t even DO.”
Joshua looked away, not really sure how to respond properly.
“Don’t worry. I’m still voting for you. I know it sounds weird hearing me, of all people, giving you advice to watch your social skills and tendencies, but you need to be more careful with the things you do because sometimes they can come back to bite you.” Zera finished before turning to Sophie. “Sophie…I really don’t know what else to say, so I guess I’ll just ask a simple question that I want an honest answer for since I already said that I’m voting for Josh: Why was Yasmin the target that night?”
“In all honesty Krista and I just felt she was the only one on the big alliance the tribe could afford to lose. It was between her and Larry, but Larry was kind of not REALLY in your alliance while Yasmin was kind of your number-two.” Sophie explained. “I swear that it wasn’t anything personal, much like the rest of my game, but in the end Krista and I just thought that, since you were a fierce competitor, Perky was all strength and Josh had the smarts, Yasmin kind of fell to the wayside by default.”
“So it wasn’t personal?”
“Of course not. NOTHING was personal!” Sophie insisted. “Voting out any of the rest of you would be dumb, but we also knew that we needed to take a piece of your alliance out or else we’d never be able to beat you guys.”
“Well, I guess I’ll accept the answer since I can tell you’re being honest about it.” Zera nodded as she walked back to the bench. “I’m done.”
“Kamek, will you finish it?”
Kamek nodded and stood up, shuffling over to his place in front of the finalists as Zera took her seat again. “Greetings, you two. I guess some congratulations are in order for making it to the end. Making it to the merge was a bit of a challenge in itself.” He said. “That said, I had some much-needed downtime at Ponderosa and I was able to spend a bit more time thinking about what I was going to say tonight, but I’ll admit that I was more waiting to see who I would be talking to before I did.”
Continuing his speech, Kamek glanced at Joshua first. “I only really have one question for one of you tonight, so instead I’ll just say a few things to Joshua. I never shared a tribe with you until the merge so I can’t really give you my opinion of you as a person, but a player you’ve got admirable skills, especially since you were able to win FOUR of the post-merge Immunity Challenges.” He said. “Not that I’m one to really talk about opinions of personal character considering I unrepentantly serve a tyrannical king with explosive temper problems. However, I still haven’t quite forgotten about how you managed to convince me to turn on the girls at my last vote.”
“You agreed that the two were super-tight and they were going to be threats. Heck, one of them is STILL HERE.” Joshua reminded.
Kamek gave a sigh. “Joshua…I’ll say that it’s more than that for me. The girls showed me admiration and respect that I haven’t felt in a LONG time. They looked up to me, wanted magic lesions and thought I was a legitimate cool guy. Do you know the last time someone actually considered me ‘cool’? Never.” He said. “Yes, I agreed to vote them out, but I hated doing it. I truly hated writing Krista’s name on that ballot and, in a way, I’m honestly a bit relieved that the plan fell through.”
Kamek then turned to Sophie. “This brings me to my question, Sophie, and it’s for you. You’re the first person in as long as I can remember to show a seemingly-genuine interest in learning magic, even after I said that Krista seemed further along than you were because you were a human. You just seemed to use that as motivation to get better at the magic.” He said. “But I need to know this and, please, be honest with me: Were your opinions of me and the magic that I did genuine or were you just trying to stay on my good side since I was the swing vote?”
“Kamek, I’d NEVER treat you like that! You were awesome! You could control magic! It was…Just so COOL to see stuff like that in action and it be legitimate magic instead of those cheap card tricks that the stage magicians use! I wanted the magic lessons because I knew I wanted to cast magic just like yours, even if I knew I’d never have the time to get the complete training in the time we were given.” Sophie explained. “But the fact remains that I still enjoyed the lessons that you gave me and I know that you were in no way obligated to give them to me in the first place. If I can find a way to continue them, I will! Just wait!”
The old Magikoopa couldn’t help but chuckle. “I knew that you were sincere, Sophie. I’ve honestly missed that a lot on Ponderosa.” He said before strolling back to his seat. “I’m done.”
“Okay. That’s all seven jurors. They’ve all either asked you two questions or given their piece, and now we’re getting ready for the final vote of the season, the one that will declare one of you two the winner of this season of Survivor: Central Hub.” SSBFreak said. “I hope you two are satisfied with the answers that you gave, because there’s no going back at this point.”
Joshua and Sophie glanced at each other, knowing there was no way back now. One of them was going to win and it was going to be down to the jury…
“So for the last time this season, it’s time to vote. Remember that you want to vote for the person you want to win.” SSBFreak explained. “Kamek, you’re up.”
Kamek got up and left the hut to go vote. He approached the table with a smile. “This isn’t even a hard choice. It never was.” He noted as he wrote a name down and voted.
Tamara showed an obvious vote for Joshua. “I’ll admit this is mainly to spite Sophie, but I can’t help but admit you did good.” She admitted, putting her ballot into the urn.
Zera walked up to the table and scribbled a name down. “Well, it’s been an experience. I’ll give it that.” She admitted with a chuckle as she voted and walked away.
Rosalyn again seemed unsure of herself, as if she was conflicted about who to vote for. “Oh, this is horrible. My nerves are completely shot right now…” She muttered as she voted.
Krista, unsurprisingly, showed that she had voted for Sophie. “You did amazing, Soph. Please tell me we’ll stay in touch, okay?” She asked as she voted and walked away.
Drillbit whistled casually as he voted. “What can I say? The anticipation of finding out who’ll win will keep me on edge for months.” He chuckled as he put his ballot into the urn.
Slippy, the last to vote approached the table. “You guys both did good, and you’re both good players, so that makes this vote super hard.” He said as he scribbled a name down.
Once all seven jurors voted, SSBFreak left to fetch the urn and returned with it moments later. “In this urn are seven ballots, and a winner has been decided. As usual, I’ll reveal the winner in a few months, after we all get back to civilization.” He explained. “I hope you’ll see us there.”
“So, to our finalists: Joshua and Sophie, and our jury of seven, I thank you for the experience of having this season being more-intense than ever before. I’ll be sure to-”
SSBFreak was cut off when a huge vortex of green energy opened up in the middle of Tribal Council, catching everyone present by surprise. Suddenly, a very-familiar limo burst from within the vortex, landing on its wheels and skidding to a drifting halt.
Tamara’s eyes snapped open. “I recognize that limo…” She said.
“Oh, no! What’s HE doing here?!” Rosalyn demanded. “I thought he was DONE!”
Suddenly, a fist punched through the driver’s window, shattering the window and sending glass everywhere. The driver leaned his head out the window, revealing a young man with a mop of bright, green hair, a pair of dark green goggles and a wide, toothy, crazed-looking grin on his face.
“Dude! This thing’s a blast to drive! I had no idea how much fun it could be to go through hairpin turns in something that wasn’t meant to turn!” cRaZy laughed.
SSBFreak blinked. “…cRaZy, what are you doing here? I’m still doing the final council.” He asked.
“What, you’re still doing it? Come on, man! You’ve only got seven jurors this season! How could you not be done?” cRaZy asked.
“Hey, I let you be the Ponderosa limo driver this season as a way to keep you occupied until now. I just need you to be patient.”
“Sorry! We’re short on time as it is!” cRaZy said as he dove out of the limo’s driver window. “You’re needed…Elsewhere.”
cRaZy grabbed SSBFreak and threw him through one of the back windows of the limo, shattering it. cRaZy then bent his knees and jumped back into the driver’s window (seriously, he’s not even bothering to open the doors) and got behind the wheel again.
“Let’s see if I can pull off a three-point turn on the way there without having to turn it into a fifty-seven-point turn!” cRaZy laughed.
The limo started spinning in place a few times (not even moving; literally just stationary circles) before taking off into the green vortex again, cRaZy laughing insanely as the limo vanished into the green, swirling energy the vortex was creating. As soon as the limo had vanished from sight, the vortex closed and left Tribal Council in silence.
Sophie blinked a few times. “Um…I take it we don’t really want to know?” She asked the jury.
“Let’s just say that guy was the limo driver that took us to Ponderosa.” Zera rolled her eyes.
“Suddenly I’m glad that we didn’t get voted out.” Sophie glanced at Joshua.
“You and me BOTH.” Joshua said, wide-eyed.
The camera panned out from a TV screen that had just showed the final moments of the last Tribal Council, showing a reunion show on a large stage set up in front of a cheering studio audience. SSBFreak stood on the stage with the urn of votes nearby, while the finalists and jury were seated on different parts of the stage, awaiting thje results.
Joshua was wearing a blue shirt with a gray sweater-vest overtop of it, in addition to a fancy-looking blue scarf tied around his neck. He wore a pair of fresh jeans, a pair of black shoes and his hairstyle, while still bearing the same colour and highlights, was now slicked upwards in a fauxhawk. Sophie was wearing a light-blue dress shirt (having ditched the tie), a different-coloured hat and a pair of blue shorts, completing the look with a pair of new sneakers. Both members of the final two looked eager to hear the results.
“Welcome, one and all, to the grand finale of the eighth season of Survivor: Central Hub. I have with me this season’s two finalists, Joshua and Sophie, as well as our jury of seven who have decided which of these two finalists will be crowned the winner of the season. In a moment, I will be revealing the votes from this urn I have with me, at which pointone of our finalists will win the million dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.” SSBFreak announced before turning to the finalists and asking one more round of questions before the reveal. “Sophie, has life changed for you since you’ve been back to Gravity Falls?”
“Honestly, not really. Just the same old stuff with the same people and the same locations. To be honest, nothing weird really happens there anymore, so playing the game on Wumpa Island was honestly a real blast and going back home afterwards just didn’t feel the same anymore.” Sophie admitted. “I mean, I like home and all, but now that the weird is gone it makes me pine for Wumpa Island all over again. That place was just fun to hang out at!”
“Joshua, looking back at the season on TV, how would you rate your performance in the game?”
“Not that great, to be frank. There were a LOT of small hints I logically should have picked up on to get a better foothold in the game but I was so focused on things that didn’t matter so they just flew by.” Joshua shook his head. “Playing the game for real means you don’t see what’s going on when the camera’s not focused on you, and because of that I missed a lot of things that others picked up on. No one to blame but myself on that, but I still think I did okay, all things considered.”
“Was there anything you would have done differently?”
“Oh, yeah. For sure. I mean, in the heat of the moment you always think that what you go for is the best option, but it isn’t until you have the time to go over your decisions where you realize that you could have done things a bit differently.” Joshua nodded. “I saw a few times where I had more options than I originally thought, and the decision I went with in the end came back to bite me in the butt later on.”
“I’ll agree with him on that. I was so focused on enjoying myself I did a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. There were a few times where my friends were genuinely surprised at what I was capable of and didn’t even clue in to what I was doing until the final five.” Sophie added. “If anything it made me realize that I need to pay better attention to my surroundings instead of just enjoying the view.”
“Okay. One final question before we go to the vote: How do you each think this vote will go?”
“No idea. I know it’s going to be close, though.” Joshua shook his head.
“Yeah, Slippy was the favourite going into the finals, but between the two of us it’ll be a lot closer.” Sophie nodded.
“Alright. With that, I feel it’s time we stop delaying the inevitable and reveal the winner of the season. It’s been put off far long enough, anyway.” SSBFreak said as he grabbed the urn of votes and pulled the lid off. “Keep in mind that, obviously, you WANT to see your name come up on the ballots this time, because they will determine the winner. The person with the majority out of these seven votes will be awarded the million dollars and be declared this season’s Sole Survivor. For the last time this season, it’s time to read the votes…”
“Hey, good luck.” Joshua said.
“You as well. It’s been a blast.” Sophie grinned.
The crowd and stage went silent as SSBFreak drew the first ballot from the urn.
“…First vote; Joshua.” Joshua leaned back.
“Sophie. It’s tied at 1.” Sophie gripped her hands in anticipation.
“…Joshua. He takes the lead.” Joshua was starting to look a bit anxious.
“…Joshua. It’s 3-1.” Joshua took a deep breath in anticipation.
“…Sophie.” Sophie glanced at Joshua, wondering how close the vote was.
“…Sophie. That’s 3-3 with one vote left.” Joshu returned the glance as the two finalists knew that it had come down to one vote and neither knew who would win. “Whoever this final vote is for will be declared the winner.”
Joshua was sweating nervously, seeing as how it came down to one vote.
Sophie leaned forward and started bouncing her knees, showing that she was just as nervous.
The jury of seven exchanged glances, as if trying to figure out who had given the deciding votes.
SSBFreak reached into the urn and pulled out the last, folded ballot.
“…And winner of the one-million dollar grand prize…”
The studio waited with baited breath, the anticipation killing everyone in the room.
The two finalists leaned forward, hoping that their name was on the last ballot.
SSBFreak, after a moment of suspense, opened the ballot and turned it to show the camera.
“…SOPHIE!” The host announced.
Sophie was instantly on her feet, hollering with a huge cheer of excitement. “I did it! I actually did it!!” She cried, holding onto her head with a mile-wide grin on her face. “This…This is insane!!”
The audience erupted in cheers for the small player as the weight of reality finally set in for Sophie, causing her to start crying tears of joy at what was happening around her. Friends and family from Gravity Falls were sitting in the front row and giving Sophie the biggest cheer of the audience, giving her an excited standing ovation as Sophie continued to celebrate, finally dropping to her knees and still cheering.
Joshua got up and walked over to Sophie, helping her up. “Hey, congrats. You did great, Sophie.” He congratulated. “I’m sure you surprised quite a few people, anyway.”
Sophie, still grinning and not bothering to wipe the tears from her face, gave Joshua a hug. “Thanks, Josh! Oh, man! I can’t believe this is actually happening!” She said.
Sophie glanced out at the audience and waved excitedly for a moment before rushing down into the audience and hugging her friends and family in the front row, who seemed just as excited as she was that she had managed to pull off a win.
“Yay, Sophie! I knew she could do it!” Krista cheered.
Kamek gave a chuckle. “I don’t regret voting for her.” He said.
“Eh, she did stuff that made me not vote for her, but she still did a good job.” Zera admitted with a shrug.
Tamara sighed. “I still don’t like seeing someone who took me for a ride get rewarded like this.” She admitted.
“She took a LOT of people for a ride. She just didn’t realize it.” Drillbit smirked.
“Members of the jury, why don’t you go over and congratulate the winner?” The host asked.
The seven jury members got up and made their way across the stage as Sophie stepped back onto the stage herself. As Krista quickly and instantly flung her arms around Sophie in a tackle hug, the nine pre-merge boots emerged onto the stage from another direction. Lammy, Yasmin, Diego, Beldam, Trilby, Jacqueline, Perky, Larry and Lightning emerged onto the stage, showing varying emotions about the winner but most showing respect and clapping for the winner.
“Aw, come on! The weak little girl won? I sha-could have walked all over her!” Lightning complained.
“Isn’t the final vote a popularity contest?” Larry piped up. “How exactly would you have expected to win?”
Diego couldn’t help but laugh and jabbed Lightning in the leg (he was too short to reach Lightning’s stomach). “Eh, you got roasted, amigo! And it was from Larry, no less!” He laughed.
“I don’t think it’s worth getting into an argument with him over.” Perky said as he picked Diego up. “Let’s just go congratulate Sophie, huh?”
“Oh, good idea, amigo!”
Lightning rolled his eyes as most of the others went over to congratulate Sophie. He glanced and saw he was standing next to Beldam, the only one who hadn’t really made a move to go over herself, and quickly decided to go over and join the others, leaving Beldam to pout alone.
“I should kill everyone here.” Beldam muttered.
As the players mingled on the stage to congratulate the winner and runner-up, SSBFreak walked away from the crowd to speak to the camera again. “It’s been a long, hard road, but the eighth season of Central Hub has wrapped up and, for an unconventional season, filled with insanity, explosions and deranged wildlife, we have an unconventional winner. Wumpa Island tried and tested each and every player we had this season, but one managed to overcome it all and remain the last one standing.” He explained. “Sophie came into the game with a simple goal to enjoy the experience for what it was, and ended up being thrust into making game-changing decisions, becoming something that she didn’t even realize she had become. Even through this, Sophie chose to not stray from who she was, play the way she wanted to play, and make connections where it mattered. Did she have a desire to become a game-maker? No, but Sophie proved that sometimes you can do things you didn’t know you were capable of when given a role you didn’t expect, and it paid off for her in the end. Sophie is this season’s Sole Survivor.”
SSBFreak continued to walk away from the crowd, making his last monologue of the season. “This season may be under the belt, but we hope you’ll join us next time when twenty new players will battle it out in an all-new location for another game of Survivor. There will be twists, turns and more chaos as we visit another world to play a game that’s sure to throw almost everyone for a loop.” He explained. “Who will fall to pressure and chaos and who will rise above the others to retin their sanity and control in a new world? Join us for the next season of Survivor: Central Hub to find out! I hope we’ll see you then!”
Sophie – Drillbit, Kamek, Krista and Rosalyn
Joshua – Slippy, Tamara and Zera