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About Deviant SSBFreakMale/Canada Group :iconponderosa-sfc-group: Ponderosa-SFC-Group
Return, Revenge, Redemption
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Day 39
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“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 s
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 6
(Ponderosa)
It was a cloudy, overcast day on the Ponderosa island. It wasn’t raining (not yet, anyway), so the people on the resort island were still out and about, but most people were carrying umbrellas as a precautionary, knowing that it could rain at a moment’s notice.
As if you were expecting something else to happen, the familiar limo driver was racing towards the Ponderosa mansion at breakneck speeds. The only major difference between now and before was that now the limo somehow had jet boosters duct-taped to the back to increase the already-very-illegal speeds the maniac driver was going at even further past the point of sanity.
The limo drover straight towards the mansion, purposefully driving towards part of the curb and launching the limo into the air as it got close to the mansion. The limo corkscrewed in the air several times, landed perfectly on its wheels and came to a perfect, drifting, screeching halt in front of the front doors. The force of the lim
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Day 38 Part 2
(Immunity Challenge)
The final three paddled into the basin and, seeing the host, started making their way over to the shore to get out of the boat. The final three approached the shore, ran aground and got out, seeing that SSBFreak was standing on the beach in front of three branching paths.
“Welcome to the final challenge of the season, guys. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane, reminiscing about your fallen comrades and how you managed to outlast them to become the final three this season. However, we still need to cut one of you before we have our finale, which is where this challenge comes in. Here, in a season filled to the brim with the zany quirkiness of Crash Bandicoot, we will test your ability to get through an actual level.” SSBFreak said, beckoning the finalists to gaze at the branching paths, showing that at least the start of the paths looked completely-identical and were covered in jungle foliage, much like an actual Crash Bandicoot level.
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Day 38 Part 1
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Well, I’m glad we could at least have ONE unanimous vote after the merge.” Joshua sighed as the final three walked into camp after council.
“Eh, even HE knew he was on borrowed time at that point. I didn’t really see him fight back that much.” Sophie admitted before turning to Slippy. “How’re you feeling about finally getting the last laugh on Drillbit, Slippy?”
“Honestly?...I don’t know. I mean, I always THOUGHT I’d be satisfied to get him out of my hair, but…He really wasn’t trying to be the villain. He was, in the end, just a guy who wanted to have fun.” Slippy admitted.
Joshua quickly interjected. “But his way of having fun was screwing himself over at every turn, which also screwed over the rest of us at the same time.” He reminded.
“I know, but for all the headaches he caused I still can’t really feel that vindicated with his elimination.
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 5
(Ponderosa)
A few woodland creatures gathered around the familiar long driveway leading up to the Ponderosa mansion. The day was great so far and it looked like the animals were scrounging for a bit of food…
Suddenly, a very-familiar limo burst from a nearby bush, causing the creatures to scatter. The limo landed on the driveway, but rather than take the winding road leading to the mansion, the limo kept driving straight through the foliage lining the driveway. It was clear that the maniac driving the limo had finally stopped caring about following the driveway and was simply making his own shortcut.
The limo approached the front door and came to a screeching halt, drifting a full ninety degrees so that the passenger in the limo would be stepping right into the doorway of the mansion. A certain purple-skinned go-kart driver stepped out of the backseat of the limo, whistling casually as he took the time to walk up to the driver’s window.
“Eh. Not bad. I give it
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Day 37
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Well, I guess I should say thanks for coming through back there, Drillbit.” Joshua noted.
“Eh, I weighed my options. Going against the two of them together WOULD be more-challenging but impossible to get to the end in.” Drillbit shrugged. “Either way, I’m glad that was a relatively-painless vote.”
“I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘painless’. I could tell those two were hurt.” Joshua shook his head. “You think Sophie’s going to spend tomorrow despairing over Krista’s elimination?”
“Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if she did, but at the same time she’s smart enough to know that moping at this point in the game wouldn’t help her any.” Drillbit replied.
Joshua blinked. “Wow. That’s…Actually pretty insightful.”
“Voting out Krista was…Pretty much a coin-toss since we honestly had no idea if voting out one
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 4
(Ponderosa)
It was another bright, sunny day on the tropical island showcasing the Ponderosa mansion as a familiar limo screeched around a corner on the long driveway, fishtailed a bit and drove up towards the mansion recklessly. The driver’s insane laughter was heard, as usual, but this time the sound of someone cheering in excitement was heard from the backseat, a stark contrast to the screams of terror or mortified silence from the previous jurors.
The limo pulled up to the mansion by doing a few donuts and sliding up to the front door in a drift. The back door opened and a laughing Krista emerged from inside.
“Wow, what a rush!” Krista said.
“You’re the first juror to genuinely enjoy the ride, kiddo! Good to meet someone with taste!” The driver said. “You may as well enjoy yourself while you’re here, though. You’ve only got a few days.”
“Okay. That was a wild ride, mister!” Krista said. “You a stun
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 34-36 Part 2
(Charmandeer Tribe)
Joshua sat on a log, reading the letter that he won in the auction. He looked a little amused at what he was reading. Krista came wandering over as Joshua was reading.
“I guess it’s from Perky and Larry?” Krista asked.
“Mostly from Perky, but yeah. Looks like the Loser’s Lodge has enough going for it that Larry doesn’t need to be pulled out a death-defying situation as much.” Joshua mentioned.
“…Um, as much?”
“It’s Larry. He still finds a way.”
“Sophie and I pretty much knew that we…Didn’t really have anyone who was eliminated pre-merge that would write a letter to us…Except maybe Diego, I guess.” Krista shrugged. “I guess we realized that other people had more people voted out that they wouldn’t have minded hearing from, so we decided to bow out of bidding for that item in the end.”
“Does Perky say how everyone else is do
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 34-36 Part 1
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Where the heck did you FIND that idol?!” Joshua demanded as Drillbit strolled into camp.
“Look, it was honestly not that hard when I thought about it.” Drillbit shrugged casually. “You know how the TNT crates reset and moved every morning? I noticed that one of them DIDN’T.”
Joshua blinked and finally sighed. “Of course the explosives enthusiast would pay attention to the TNT crates that everyone else is trying to avoid.” He moaned.
“Hey, it’s just common sense, man. I kinda thought you, of all people would have known to look in a place production didn’t expect us to.”
“DON’T remind me. I’m having a hard enough time accepting the fact that I, the person that researched, like, EVERY season of Survivor, didn’t find ONE idol while you, who seem perfectly fine to coast through the game with no strategy whatsoever, managed to find TWO.”
Drillbit laughed.
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 3
(Ponderosa)
It was a pretty cloudy, gloomy day on the mainland island where Ponderosa was sitting this day. No rainfall, but still no sunshine…Not that was really on the mind of the latest juror, who was sitting in the backseat of the limo as the driver raced recklessly towards the Ponderosa mansion, screeching around a few corners on two wheels due to going so fast and taking turns too sharply. In the end, the car spun around a few times as the maniac driver hit the brakes, skillfully coming to a parked halt directly in front of the mansion.
“Haha! Nailed it! Say, I’m getting pretty good at this!” The driver’s voice was heard laughing. “One of these days I’m going to have to drive for a license! Okay! We’re here!”
Silence. The back door of the limo didn’t open at the juror remained inside.
“Uh…You gotta get out now.”
Again, silence.
“…Look, I can’t just take you back, if that’s
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 31-33 Part 2
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“This is so cool! You’re actually on Survivor!” Mabel said as she and Sophie walked through camp. “You’ve been doing real well, even!”
“Honestly, I wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for my bestie, Krista.” Sophie smiled with a shake of her head. “It’s just been a real blast doing the game with her.”
“How’d you guys make it so far, anyway? Spill your secrets! Spill them I say!”
“No real secrets. We’re just been taking it a day at a time and focusing on getting each other through the game together.” Sophie shrugged.
“Mabel’s just a fun friend to have for anyone, and I’m glad that she chooses to include me in her little social group. It keeps things super-interesting, to say the least.” Sophie laughed. “I guess I just have that kind of way of making friends who are all about having fun like I am, but Mabel just ta
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 31-33 Part 1
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Drillbit, what the heck was that?!” Joshua demanded as he approached Drillbit.
“What’re ya talking about, Josh?” Drillbit asked.
“You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!” Joshua said. “You just…You turned on the alliance and left it high and dry!”
“Drillbit…Broke away from the tie vote and voted out Tamara…For no logical reason! And because of that, Zera and I were outnumbered for the second vote and now I’m literally alone!” Joshua said, looking like he was freaking out. “What bugs me the most is that NONE of that makes any sense! It doesn’t do him any good whatsoever, so what would he have to gain from destroying the alliance in the first place?!”
“We had half the vote! We could have won in a tiebreaker!” Joshua insisted.
“That would’ve drawn things out WAY longer than they needed to.” Drillbit shook his he
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 2
(Ponderosa)
It was a rainy day as the limo drove up the driveway leading to the Ponderosa mansion, splashing through puddles on the ground as it did. The limo pulled up to the front door of the mansion with a screech, briefly skidding in a drift until it came to a stop. Once the limo stopped, the back door opened and out stepped two people, Tamara and Zera. Because neither of them had an umbrella handy, all they could do was stand in the rain.
“Uh…Thanks for the ride, but you DO know you’re supposed to drive carefully when it’s raining, right?” Zera asked.
“Oh, the punk skater girl is telling me to act carefully? I kinda find that ironic.” The driver couldn’t help but chuckle playfully. “Anyways, you girls had better get inside before you catch cold…Or don’t. Really, I don’t give a crap. I’m just here to waste some time.”
“Uh…What happened to the OLD driver?” Tamara asked.
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 29-30 Part 2
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Just our luck. With everyone focusing on everyone else or recovering from their points being stolen, someone managed to slip by almost completely unnoticed.” Zera folded her arms. “We’ve got a vote coming up that, quite frankly, would have been more-comfortable if one of us was immune for, but at least we’re going into this with our targets vulnerable.”
“Sophie or Krista?” Zera asked as she, Joshua, Tamara and Drillbit sat around the campfire. “We need to make sure that we’re all on the same page here.”
“Honestly? I think Sophie may be the bigger threat of the two.” Joshua pointed out. “She seemed to be putting in more effort to get to know people.”
“I honestly thought it seemed fifty-fifty.” Tamara shook her head. “Sophie was closer to Kamek than Krista was, but he was also all the two had on our tribe aside from Zera and I.”
“Yeah,
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Literature
Survivor CH8: Days 29-30 Part 1
(Charmandeer Tribe)
“Taking out Kamek…Yeah, we had to make a decision and we went with the one we felt made the most sense.” Zera folded her arms. “Yeah, Krista and Sophie are tight, but from what we figured, Kamek was in an alliance with both Slippy and Rosalyn, which I guess makes sense since all three were from season one. Who’s to say that those three aren’t as tight as the girls are? Kamek we decided to boot because, quite frankly, we figured he was the most well-liked of the three…”
“Was Kamek REALLY the biggest threat of the three?” Joshua asked.
“YES. Krista and Sophie LOVED him on Oshwat.” Zera pointed out. “And if he’s as close with the other two canons as we think he is he could easily get the votes to win.”
“Heh. Never would have figured the old coot to be a threat to win.” Drillbit chuckled. “I guess I don’t really think about stuff like that too
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Literature
OMM S2: Poison vs. Vivian
One-Minute Melee!
Where all of life’s problems can be solved with violence!
Two fighters! Sixty seconds! And NO research!
GO!
(Glitzville)

The audience cheered wildly as a blue-shelled Koopa wearing shades hit the mat of the large fighting arena, finally down for the count as he lay beside the rest of his team, a few other similar-looking Koopas. On the other side of the ring, an armoured Koopa brushed off his metal-clad hands.
“And there we have it, folks! We have a knockout!” A mushroom lady with blonde hair and glasses announced as she stepped onto the mat. “The winner, by VERY definite knockout: The Koopinator!”
The mushroom woman (and owner of the fighting arena) turned her microphone towards the winner. “Any thoughts on your opponent, Koopinator?” Jolene asked. “You of all people should know that Shellshock had been touting his guaranteed win over you for the last two weeks!”
Not hearing a response, Jolene (the m
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Activity


  • Listening to: JT Machinima
  • Reading: Central Hub
  • Watching: Amazing Race Canada
  • Playing: Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition
It's been a long, long time coming, but the eighth season of Central Hub has finally wrapped up and a winner has been decided. This season has by far gone through the most changes of anything I've written, largely because my original plans for the season would have ended much differently than how they ended up, and I realized that I would have hated the result that I was originally going to have, which is why I went on the hiatus in the first place until I got some creativity going. I'm pleased with where the season went for the most part, and the light-hearted, more-comedic take on the season is something that I personally really enjoyed doing and something I'm going to try doing in the future. Thanks for sticking with me for this long and putting up with the delays, and I hope that this season was worth it in the end. Let's break a few things down then...

Sophie, the Winner...

When I originally cast Sophie back pre-hiatus, I was originally going to have her leave around the family visit. When I cast her and Krista together, I knew they'd be best friends, but one of the first things I thought about with them was "which one is going to get cut first?". Krista was originally going to be a pre-merge boot and Sophie would go around the family visit like the energetic characters tend to. That said, I went on the hiatus and things got put on hold. Funnily enough, Sophie and Krista were the biggest things that got the creativity going and gave me the inspiration to turn the season around.

I suddenly got an idea that I've yet to really see: What would happen if I were to give CPN undertones to the FUN-LOVERS? Without taking away from their fun-loving, energetic characters that were there to have a good time, Sophie and Krista were thrown into power positions, and showed that they would do whatever it took to make sure that they both made it through the day. This, in the end, gave them a bit of a villain edit that neither of them really wanted, and without really changing them into malevolent characters since, like Drillbit, there was no ill will towards anyone: They were just there to have a good time, and would do anything to make sure that they got each other through the vote.

I'll admit that Sophie and Krista seemed very similar aside from some personality differences, but there was a reason for that. Up until the middle of my writing the season, the final two was originally going to be Sophie and Krista, with Sophie still winning. I was purposefully trying to give the two of them somewhat-similar edits, making sure that they had the same number of confessionals and everything, because it was originally going to come down to the two of them in the end, with people not knowing who to vote for because they played the same game (because they played it together). I realized that I had a few problems with this as I was writing because I found that I wasn't differentiating the two girls as much as I would have liked. I guarantee that if I had managed to separate the girls into their own characters more, they would have gone to the end together, though.

What made Sophie stand out from Krista, and why it was always going to be her doing better, was her characterization. Krista's application was portraying her as the usual energetic, friendly girl, but Sophie had the mystery-loving side of her that made her a fan of the paranormal and weird. Yeah, it's a bit nitpicky, but I found I was able to get more out of Sophie in the long run because of it. Sophie winning is something I'm still satisfied with, because she's definitely not a hero winner like about half the winners I've had before, and is a bit of a new take on a "villain" win. She's not quite a villain, but she's still shown that she's willing to play others, albeit in her own way, solely so that she and her best friend could make it through the day.

Joshua, the Runner-Up...

I'll be the first to admit that I actually really liked writing for Joshua. Pre-hiatus he was originally just going to be a sarcastic foil to Zera that knew a lot about the game. I didn't really have much else to go on, but I knew he'd be a big character for the season when I got the app. Here's where the dilemma was: Pre-hiatus, my winner pick was between Joshua and Zera. As I started writing I realized that this was going to be a painfully-predictable win because the two of them were surrounded by quirky characters that, by any logical means, would have no place in the finals. I ran out of creativity at that point and I went on the hiatus because I was trying to find a way to make people interesting, and I was setting more than a couple characters up to become nothing but strategybots.

Coming out of the hiatus, I actually have Vilecheese to thank for Joshua's fanboy personality. Yes, Joshua was a lot more over-the-top in Vile's comic, but it gave me something to work on and it made him a lot more-fun to write for. At least with him talking about edgics and edits he was trying to talk strategy without coming off as boring, and I felt I was able to balance out his sarcastic side with his fanboy side well enough, even combining the two sides into a semi-Jacqueline for the fans at times. I had him go through comedic misfortune a bit with Larry, the dynamite boxes and the wolf mutant because with me taking a cartoony approach to the season I could have the cast get bounced around a bit without injury, and Joshua's antics ironically made him funnier to write for in the long run.

Here's where we get to my take on Joshua: I'd had superfans on the series before. When you see a superfan in something like this, they're usually either really good at the game and know the ins and outs of almost everything, or they become a tryhard that crashes and burns within two or three episodes. I knew Joshua was always going to be a long-term character, so to make his character a bit more-interesting, I decided to make it so that the new environment, with the unpredictable island and everything, would turn everything a superfan thought he knew about the game on its head. Joshua tried to make a big move way too early, got blindsided a few times pre-merge that cost him all his allies (and by Lightning, of all people), made the mistake of trusting the unpredictable villain of the season, and wasn't able to find a single idol in the entire game. I wanted to show that, sometimes, being real knowledgeable in Survivor doesn't prepare you for the real thing, and if you go in thinking you know all the tricks and secrets that the series has to offer, you're going to get more than a few surprises.

Now, I'm not saying I cast Joshua solely to turn the superfan-storyline around a bit, because I honestly really enjoyed writing for him and I loved what he brought to the season. Joshua does know Survivor, and in a traditional season he probably would have done very well. But with this season being as unpredictable as it was, Joshua was taken by surprise and it caused him to trip up more than once. I hope I made Joshua an enjoyable character because the season definitely wouldn't have been the same without him.

The Yasmin Vote...

Here's what I think was my biggest mistake of the season: Yasmin going home in the way that she did. Yasmin was always the second boot because, no matter how much I tried she was never really destined to be much more than an early boot, but it was the vote that eliminated her that I feel is my one big regret.

I didn't realize what a good position Yasmin was in at the start of the game until I was halfway done episode two. There was no logical way Yasmin would get eliminated unless her alliance's vote was split, and I had already written too much to go back and edit the entire first episode. Originally, Sophie and Krista were going to trick Joshua and Perky into giving their votes to Diego rather than it being Joshua's fanboy self wanting to make a move. However, I realized that doing that would not only draw too much attention to the girls way too early, but it would go against their tendencies to play the villains UNWITTINGLY. Plus I really didn't see a way Joshua would logically fall for something like that and not consult Zera first. Because of that, it was changed around to Joshua being responsible for the vote going the way it did, but it still left me with a vote I wasn't really satisfied with.

If I were to redo the first two episodes, I would have put off Zera and Joshua joining forces until after Yasmin was voted off normally. It would have just been Zera and Yasmin as a duo and Joshua and Perky as another duo rather than the four of them together. Like I said, how the vote turned out was kind of the big mistake of the season for me...

The Canons...

I loved writing for these canons again, no matter how long or short they were around for. I know that it's a bit of an unconventional take on the whole "Fans vs. Canons" thing, but I've gone over my opinions on the regular take on that twist in a previous journal of mine and I don't want to bore people with the details again. Let me just say that any canon twist used in this series will just be a random group of canons unrelated to the applicants because at least then I would know how to write for them all and no one would get screwed over just because of a canon representative.

First let's quickly go over some of the canons that I didn't even bother looking at to come on and why I didn't pick them...
- Characters like Slimer, the Rabbid, Mumbles and Muttley were passed over because they would be impossible to write for long-term.
- Characters like Dom Cobb, Jimmy Neutron and the Fallout Raider were passed over because I considered them too boring to be actual contestants or I had no idea how to write for them.
- Psymon was unfortunately passed over because Drillbit was a lock. I totally would have cast Psymon if not for Drillbit.
- Ayame was passed over because I already had Krista and Sophie. Three of them would be pushing it, even by my standards.

I'm fine with my selection, and to be honest, most of the canons were locks from the start. I had my first boot (Lammy), the early villains that hide the real villain (Beldam and Lightning), the unconventional villain (Drillbit), the eccentric (Jacqueline), and two canons that I really just wanted to write for again after so long (Kamek and Rosalyn). Slippy and Trilby were the last ones I cast and the only ones whose roles I hadn't nailed down yet. I knew I wanted a surprise blindside from a smart player (Trilby) and a surprise hero to counter the surprise villain (Slippy), but I still had to narrow down the cast.

Other options I had instead of Trilby were Sgt. Cortez (Timesplitters), Sasha Nein (Psychonauts) and Sam (Sam & Max). However, I needed someone who could rival Beldam early on and be able to sense her evilness. Cortez and Sam logically wouldn't be able to "sense" evil even though they fight the paranormal all the time, though Sasha could have made for an interesting substitute for Trilby due to his complete deadpan and emotionless responses to everything in addition to the psychic powers. However, I wanted to use Trilby more and I felt that he would logically be the biggest opposition to Beldam because he's literally experienced and gone against Eldritch horrors like her on more than one occasion.

Now for Slippy. The only other one I was considering for the slot was indeed Wallace (Wallace & Grommit), because they both fit the slot I was looking for: The eccentric, genius inventor that sees Drillbit as the threat he is and tries to go against him, but no one takes them seriously because of their eccentrics. It's actually kind of scary how easily I could have fit Wallace into Slippy's role, to be honest. That said, if I included Wallace it would more-than-likely be a homage to his late voice actor, I finalized the cast before he passed away, and I just wanted to write for Slippy more in the end.

Next Season

Keep your eyes peeled for an updated application form in a journal in the near future. I haven't done any casting yet, but I have some ideas for season twists and I want to make sure that the season doesn't disappoint. Regardless, it'll be a ways away because, now that this season's in the bag, I can focus on other projects, at least for now, while I do planning on the side. I know I want a cast of 20 again, but that's the only definitive. =P
(Charmandeer Tribe)

“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.”


(Tribal Council)

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.”

“Okay. Krista?”

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.”

“Huh?”

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.

(Reunion)

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.”

“…Final vote…”

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.

“…Sole Survivor…”

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!”

Voting History:
Sophie – Drillbit, Kamek, Krista and Rosalyn
Joshua – Slippy, Tamara and Zera
Survivor CH8: Day 39
The finale of this season's Central Hub, after a long, long haitus from the series.
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After the dust settles, we have our eighth champion, and with a 4-3 vote, it's Sophie. I'll give my post-season journal later on today because I want to give people a chance to read this before I get into the spoilery journal. Quite frankly, there's quite a bit I want to go over.

Thanks for sticking with me the entire time, even through the haitus I took from the season! Also note that, while I have plans for next season, it's still going to be a ways off. I'm definitely not going to rush it.
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(Ponderosa)

It was a cloudy, overcast day on the Ponderosa island. It wasn’t raining (not yet, anyway), so the people on the resort island were still out and about, but most people were carrying umbrellas as a precautionary, knowing that it could rain at a moment’s notice.

As if you were expecting something else to happen, the familiar limo driver was racing towards the Ponderosa mansion at breakneck speeds. The only major difference between now and before was that now the limo somehow had jet boosters duct-taped to the back to increase the already-very-illegal speeds the maniac driver was going at even further past the point of sanity.

The limo drover straight towards the mansion, purposefully driving towards part of the curb and launching the limo into the air as it got close to the mansion. The limo corkscrewed in the air several times, landed perfectly on its wheels and came to a perfect, drifting, screeching halt in front of the front doors. The force of the limo coming to a halt was enough to cause the back door to open on its own and eject Slippy from the backseat, making the amphibian pilot tumble on the ground for a few feet.

Slippy rolled into a seated position and rubbed his head. “Have you SERIOUSLY been driving like that all season?!” He demanded.

“Hey, it was the last time and I wanted to send the experience off with a bang. Like the barrel roll I did? I thought it was a nice touch for you, anyway.” The driver said.

Slippy stood up. “How have you not had your liscence taken away by now?” He asked.

“Because you can’t take away what I don’t have!” The driver laughed.

“Somehow I’m not surprised.” Slippy rolled his eyes.

“Hey, mac. Just a heads-up, you’ve only got one day here, so make sure you make the most of it while you’re here.” The driver said.

“I’ll keep that in mind. You’re…Um…Not the one taking us back to council tomorrow, are you?” Slippy asked.

“Nah. My job here’s done since you’re the last juror. I’m needed elsewhere.” The driver said casually as he threw the limo into gear and took off back down the driveway again. Slippy watched as the limo vanished around a corner out of sight, somehow creating a strobe of green lights around the corner. When the lights died down, everything was silent again.

“…Well, that was a thing that happened.” Slippy shrugged as he turned to walk towards the mansion.

“It stings a bit knowing that I came so close to the end only to get cut one day short of the finale, but I guess knowing that I made it to third at all makes me feel a bit better. Way better than even I thought I was going to do, anyway. So I guess I need to think about the vote tomorrow but, to be honets, I think I’d rather just enjoy the day here for now.” Slippy explained. “Worrying about whom to give my vote to tomorrow will just take away the point of relaxing at Ponderosa. I’ll save making my mind up for when I ask questions tomorrow, anyway.”

Slippy walked into the front foyer and looked around. He quickly spotted Krista playing a video game with Zera, Tamara and Drillbit and made his way over, seeing Kamek grabbing something out of the fridge in the nearby kitchen.

“Hey, guys.” Slippy greeted.

“Heya, Slippy!” Krista greeted back. “Sorry that you got the boot back there. It must sting…”

Slippy rubbed the back of his head. “It stings a bit, yeah, but I’m not going to dwell on it. What’s done is done, and Joshua made his choice.” He said.

“To be honest, Joshua made the right choice.” Kamek noted as he came over with a plate of noodles.

“How do you mean?”

“…Don’t take this bad, Slippy, but if Joshua decided to boot Sophie instead…” Kamek sighed. “…Well, you’d be a millionaire, no questions asked.”

“Aw, seriously?!”

“Yeah, we did a tally count after you were voted out. You would have blown him out of the water.” Drillbit pointed out.

“…You would have voted for me?” Slippy asked curiously.

Drillbit gave a shrug. “Eh, after everything I kind of put you through back there I felt I at least owed it to you.” He admitted. “Plus you took everything like a champ.”

“Thanks. Uh, I guess.”

“Yeah, I’ll freely admit that I put frog boy through a lot on the island. None of it was out of spite or anything personal. He just happened to get caught in the crossfire. I think he at least knows that.” Drillbit shrugged. “Does it suck that he’s out of the game? Eh, out of the three left he was always the one I’d be voting for. Between Josh and Sophie I actually gotta think who to give my vote for, so for me it’s more of a minor inconvenience.”

“So what’s there to do around here?” Slippy asked. “We planning on going anywhere?”

“Not today. They want to use the last day to let us relax and decide on our jury questions.” Zera explained, not taking her eyes off the screen (she was currently the closest she’d ever gotten to beating Drillbit and she wanted to focus).

“And…How many people are actually thinking about said jury questions?”

“Pretty sure I’m the only one putting any real thought into it, Slippy.” Kamek shrugged. “Everyone else either knows who they’re voting for or is going to wing it.” He gestured for the pilot to come to the kitchen. “You hungry? There’s lots of food here.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty hungry, actually.” Slippy said as he walked into the kitchen. “Any pizza?”

“There’s ALWAYS pizza.”

“Sweet.”

“Oh! Slippy! You’re here!”

Slippy turned and saw Rosalyn enter the scene from a hallway. She looked a little relieved and anxious at the same time.

“Oh, hey, Rosalyn.” Slippy greeted. “How’s Ponderosa been for you?”

“Slippy, I need to say something right here and right now. I have a confession to make.” Rosalyn explained, looking down.

“Uh…What’s wrong?”

Rosalyn rubber her arm nervously. “I was lying to you for so long on the island. There were a couple of votes that happened where Joshua questioned where I voted and…I ended up throwing you under the bus.” She admitted. “I hated doing it, I swear. It’s just that the more I lied on the island the more I just instinctively did it without really thinking of the consequences. By that point I was lying just to take the target off my back and I didn’t even care who the target fell on!”

Slippy sighed. “To be honest, I kind of had a feeling that you had done it a few times.” He replied. “When you started having episodes after Trilby left I knew that there needed to be someone there you hated lying to and, considering the only other person I know of you lying to was Lightning I had a feeling you weren’t being entirely truthful.”

“But…You were seriously my only ally for half the game since we were separated from Kamek after the swap and he was eliminated when we hit the merge!” Rosalyn insisted. “I felt nothing but horrible for trying to save my own skin! How do you not care?!”

“People do that all the time on this show, Rosalyn. I guess I kind of figured I was the one you were lying to so it was less of a surprise for me and I decided to just kind of go with it since it…Really didn’t affect me much in the end aside from make Joshua a bit suspicious of me.” Slippy admitted. “Besides, you were the link in our alliance to other alliances, right? If Joshua trusted you more over me I guess that was you doing what we agreed you would do when you, Kamek and I formed the alliance in the first place.”

“I think you’re still being a bit too lenient here, Slippy.” Kamek walked over. “Alliance or not she DID end up throwing you down the river even if she had no intention to.”

Slippy sighed. “Well, what am I supposed to say now? All of us are out of the game. In all honesty it didn’t even affect me in the end because I still ended up making it to third and was taken out because Joshua saw me as a bigger threat.” He said. “I can’t just say that I don’t forgive her or will never forget what she did because I don’t like to dwell on the past, and this game brings out sides of people even THEY don’t like.”

Kamek sighed. “You’re FAR too forgiving for your own good, Slippy. It CAN’T be healthy for you back home if you’re the butt of every joke like it seems you are.” He said simply.

Slippy sat in front of a confessional and looked away. “I’d…Be lying if I said that what Rosalyn did didn’t hurt, but like I said, we’re all out of the game now. I can’t dwell on it, and I know she didn’t mean any of what she did in the end because she’s WAY too innocent to be someone who willingly throws allies under the bus for their own gain. I think I can safely chalk it up as the stress of the game getting to her.” He admitted. “But at he same time I can’t just allow myself to be the doormat here. Yeah, I’ll talk about it more with her but I don’t want to make a scene about it so I’ll do it in private when the cameras aren’t focusing on us. Why don’t you focus on someone else for a while?...”

Slippy led Rosalyn away to have a heart-to-heart with her, leaving Kamek with the others, who were still playing the game. Kamek watched the two go and shook his head. “I know he was the level-headed member of our alliance but I think he still needs to grow more of a backbone…” He said.

“Oh, he’s got a lot of backbone, Merlin.” Drillbit admitted with a shrug. “Believe me, I know firsthand.”

Zera groaned as Drillbit won another game of Mario Kart. “Oh, come on! I was so close that time!” She said. “Why can’t I beat you here, Drillbit?! I swear I can win, like, eighty percent of my online matches!”

“You’re the one challenging the professional go-kart racer to a game of Mario Kart, Zera.” Drillbit laughed. “But hey, if it means anything, you put up more of a challenge in the game than almost all of the other racers back home do. I guess I just translated to Mario Kart better than the others.”

Tamara rolled her eyes and put the controller down. “I don’t know why I’m still playing. Why don’t we have Kamek and Drillbit go one-on-one for a few rounds? I think that’ll at least be more-fun to watch.” She reasoned.

Krista lifted an eyebrow. “Wait. He plays? Most of what I’ve seen him do is teach me how to play pool or practice magic.” She said.

Kamek chuckled. “Well, I need to let off steam somehow.” He said. “But if Drillbit’s up for it I’m fine for a round or two. I just hope you don’t intend to bet.”

Drillbit smirked. “Why? You worried I’ll beat you that hard?” He asked.

Kamek accepted the controller from Tamara and sat down. “Just the opposite.” He said.

Zera sat in front of the confessional, arms crossed and smirking. “Hey, even though it wasn’t me doing it, seeing someone finally utterly crush Drillbit in Mario Kart was a VERY satisfying thing to see.” She said.

“Man. I’ve never been lapped like that before…” Drillbit said, surprise written on his face. “I wonder if he’s still salty about being cut from Mario Kart…”


“So are we seriously just going into tomorrow without any real plan for questions?” Tamara asked.

Krista laughed. “Oh, come on, Tamara. Most of us already know who we’re voting for, anyway.” She said. “Besides, I don’t think you should be asking that since we all kind of know that there’s no way you’re going to vote for Sophie in the end.”

Tamara lifted an eyebrow. “You know? If you and Sophie had made it to the end together, maybe I would have made you turn on each other.” She mentioned.

“Uh…No. Like that would ever work. Soph and I would never turn on each other, even for a jury vote. We even discussed that potential outcome.” Krista replied. “The way we saw it, you would have had to give your vote to one of us regardless, so what was the point in trying to butter you up for a vote that likely would have come down to a coin toss for you?”

“She’s got you there, Tamara.” Zera shrugged.

“Oh, give it a rest! Like YOU would have done any differently!” Tamara narrowed her eyes.

“Well, I would have at least gone into it expecting the girls to refuse to turn on each other. At least then I wouldn’t have been embarrassed failing to do so.” Zera shrugged. “Look, yeah, the girls kind of took advantage of the both of us. But at least with me it was more in retaliation for me trying to turn on them first.”

“Still here, guys.” Krista said. “And we never took advantage of ANYONE. All Sophie and I did was just not do what Tamara said, not tell her we found an idol and just did our own thing. It’s not like we were manipulating people into voting for people we wanted to vote for.”

Zera sighed. “Okay. Point.”

“Look, I think it’s obvious who’ll be getting my vote tomorrow, especially since one of the finalists is someone who made me look like a complete idiot during the early game. Krista can deny it all she wants but the fact remains that they did SO many things behind my back when I came into this game expecting to be a manipulator villain, but instead likely came off as a complete joke!” Tamara rolled her eyes. “I know that Joshua will be the one to get my vote tomorrow but I’m going to have a lot to say to Sophie tomorrow.”

“Honestly, I’ve grown used to the theme of people winging it, considering the season we’ve had. The main villain AND the surprising power players have used that strategy the entire game, and since the majority of people here already seem to know who they’re voting for, they just seem content to go into the final council tomorrow with little thought of their questions or speeches.” Kamek said. “I feel like I’m the only one who’s putting any real thought into questions and that…Honestly shouldn’t make me feel surprised, considering the overall feeling of this season in general.”


As Tamara, Zera and Krista watched as Kamek continued to beat Drillbit in Mario Kart, Rosalyn and Slippy emerged from a room down the hall. “You feel better, Rosalyn?” Slippy asked.

Rosalyn nodded, wiping her eyes. “I think so, Slippy. Thanks for opening up to me.” She said, giving Slippy a hug. “How do you feel?”

“Better now that I’ve gotten a few things off my chest. Thanks for listening.” Slippy nodded before turning his attention to the others. “Um…Guys?”

“What’s up, Slippy?” Krista asked. “You and Rosalyn feelin better now?”

“Yeah. I guess so, anyway.” Slippy said. “But…Rosalyn and I found something in that room that we don’t know what it is.”

The others gathered around to see what Slippy had apparently found in the other room and saw a rather large pile of papers in his hands.

“That doesn’t look familiar to me. Where you guys find those?” Zera asked.

“Um…Well, Slippy noticed a latch on the floor in there, which opened a trapdoor and led into a secret basement room.” Rosalyn explained. “Kind of looked like a brainstorm room of some kind with the amount of papers, blueprints and atlases of different worlds in there.”

Kamek took the papers and flipped through them. “Why…Does this look like a script?” He asked. “And it’s for…Next season?”

Tamara took a few pages and took a glance. “Who ARE these people here? Some of them look real weird…” She lifted an eyebrow. “And why are some of them wearing the same colour?”

Everyone looked through the papers for a few moments, turned their heads to glance at the camera watching them, and then promptly thrust the papers back into Slippy’s arms.

“Put those back where you found them, Slippy. NOW.” Zera ordered.

“Already on it!” Slippy said as he abruptly turned around and walked back into the room.
Survivor CH8: Ponderosa 6
The final Ponderosa segment of this season's Central Hub.

I honestly wasn't sure how to properly word Slippy and Rosalyn's talk in a way that didn't make Slippy look like a doormat or Rosalyn look like a pushover, so that's why I had them talk in private.

Still writing the finale. No real expectation of a date yet.
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(Immunity Challenge)

The final three paddled into the basin and, seeing the host, started making their way over to the shore to get out of the boat. The final three approached the shore, ran aground and got out, seeing that SSBFreak was standing on the beach in front of three branching paths.

“Welcome to the final challenge of the season, guys. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane, reminiscing about your fallen comrades and how you managed to outlast them to become the final three this season. However, we still need to cut one of you before we have our finale, which is where this challenge comes in. Here, in a season filled to the brim with the zany quirkiness of Crash Bandicoot, we will test your ability to get through an actual level.” SSBFreak said, beckoning the finalists to gaze at the branching paths, showing that at least the start of the paths looked completely-identical and were covered in jungle foliage, much like an actual Crash Bandicoot level. “You will each make your way through a watered-down Crash Bandicoot level, and when I say watered-down, I mean we’ve removed all the enemies, lethal deathtraps and made the bottomless pits so that you’ll be teleported back to safety if you fall in. Now, your goal here is to get to the end while breaking as many boxes as possible as if you were going for the level’s Gem.”

“Seems simple enough, but what if two people get to the end of the level with the same number of boxes broken?” Joshua asked.

“Then we’ll determine the winner by how quickly they got to the end. But remember this because it’s important. You will ALSO be REQUIRED to collect the level’s Crystal, which is on the path somewhere in the level. If you make it to the end without the crystal, then you will be automatically disqualified regardless of the number of boxes broken or how quick you were. So remember: You NEED the crystal to even have a chance at winning. Whoever gets to the end with the most boxes broken, in the quickest time, while holding the crystal, will win the final Immunity, and be the sole person voting out our final juror at tonight’s Tribal Council.”

The final three exchanges glances for the last time, knowing that this challenge, even by this season’s standards, would be a doozy to pull off, let alone have a shot at winning.

“If you’ll all chose a path, we can begin…And remember that all three courses are laid out exactly the same.”

The finalists approached the paths and each selected a path, with Sophie on the far left, Joshua on the far right and Slippy in the middle.

“Okay. For Immunity, for the final time, Survivors ready…” SSBFreak said. “…Go!”

The final three took off down their paths, making the first turn and vanishing into the levels, out of sight of the first camera. Following camera shots were then shown following on tracks behind each contestant, following them like the camera would for Crash Bandicoot in an actual level of a game.

Sophie saw a few boxes sitting aside as she was running and swiped at them without stopping, knowing that speed would also be needed here. Sophie managed to break all of the boxes in the group, but she decided to hold off her excitement until she was done the challenge, seeing another box set up with a box above it, floating in midair.

“Oh, wow! Midair blocks! This’ll be fun!” Sophie said as she jumped on the lower box, sprining herself  headfirst into the midair box, breaking both on impact. Sophie landed on her feet and kept running.

Slippy approached a pit, seeing a few boxes on a platform just off the main path. Deciding to take his chances, Slippy jumped at the lone platform and managed to stick the landing. Slippy took the time to break the boxes on the platform before attempting the jump back to the main path to continue on, but he started the jump awkwardly and therefore missed the landing.

“Ack!” Slippy cursed as he tumbled down into the bottomless pit, only to be teleported back to land after falling only a few feet. “Yeesh. I gotta look into that technology…” He mused as he continued running.

Joshua just managed to clear a gap, but only barely, as he wavered back and forth a couple of times, trying to keep his balance and keep himself from falling down a pit. Managing to steady himself, Joshua quickly kept running, not wanting to waste time, as he saw some boxes sitting to the side and broke them.

“Of all the times to be out of shape, I swear…” Joshua muttered as he smashed through the crates without stopping to try and keep his momentum as he ran. It was clear he was focused on getting things done quickly and didn’t want to waste too much time slowing down to break crates.

The final three continued to make their way through the levels, each one breaking boxes as they went. It seemed like it was pretty close, and everyone had so far been breaking all of the boxes that they had come across, but no one had come across their necessary crystal yet.

Slippy was the first to stumble upon the crystal, seeing it floating in midair at the end of a climbing staircase of boxes. He also noticed that the crystal was overtop a pit, so once he grabbed the crystal he’d need to maneuver himself in midair towards the ground again.

“Yeesh, this kind of looks dicey.” Slippy muttered before jumping on the bottom box, breaking it and launching himself towards the next one up. Slippy climbed the box staircase, breaking all the boxes as he went, and propelled himself towards the airborne crystal, which he quickly swiped out of the air.

However, Slippy tried to move himself in the air to get himself to land on solid ground again, but was unable to stick the landing and plummeted into the pit, having to waste time getting teleported back out again. Thankfully, Slippy still had the crystal, so he didn’t need to re-attempt the jump or collect the crystal again.

“Ugh. That’s a relief. I thought I’d have to waste time collecting the crystal again.” Slippy muttered to himself as he continued running.

Sophie was the next person to come across a crystal, and she saw it just before coming up to a large gap in the ground. Sophie saw that she needed to platform her way across the gap using several small platforms, but saw that the crystal she needed to collect was on a separate platform off to the side.

“Oh! The crystal!” Sophie said as she jumped over to a platform as close to the crystal’s platform as she could.

Sophie, breaking a couple of boxes on the platform she landed on, wasted no time in attempting the jump to try and land on the platform that held the crystal. Unfortunately, she didn’t jump far enough and came up short, falling into the pit and getting teleported back onto the ground again. However, because she still hadn’t collected the crystal, she needed to attempt the jump again.

“Aw, come on!” Sophie said before taking a step back, knowing that this would cut into her end time.

Making the jump again, Sophie landed on the platform, but on the tip of the edge, and in an attempt to regain her balance, the small girl fell backwards into the pit again, getting teleported back to her original position without the crystal she had yet to collect. Sophie looked a little frustrated at how annoying trying to collect the crystal was getting.

Joshua continued making his way through the level, thankful that all the annoying enemies were taken out but at the same time a bit cautious.

“There has to be a way to make things more challenging to complete if they take out the enemies and deathtraps.” Joshua muttered to himself, breaking a couple of boxes in his way as he continued jogging forward.

Suddenly, Joshua felt himself catch his foot on something. Instantly realizing it was a tripwire, Joshua tried to keep himself from falling over and managed to keep his footing. “What the heck did I just trigger?” He asked aloud.

Joshua’s question was answered when he felt a sharp jab in his behind, causing him to shout, jump into the air and hold his rear. Glancing over his shoulder, Joshua saw a dart sticking out of his rear. Anoyed, Joshua plucked the dart out and inspected it.

“Ugh. At least it’s not tipped or poisoned…” Joshua muttered before looking over his shoulder again. Joshua’s eyes promptly snapped open.

A small army of tribal people emerged from the bushes, each armed with a blowpipe and a sinister grin. The tripwire was just letting them know that Joshua had come into range.

This was going to suck…

The sounds of Joshua screaming in pain echoed throughout the course, but Slippy and Sophie tried to block it out as they continued running, trying to break as many boxes as they could while still not stopping. Sophie had fallen behind a bit due to having made numerous attempts to get her crystal, but she finally collected it and was able to move on.

Slippy broke a few more boxes but decided to pass by a few more when he saw how far off the main path they were, isolated by themselves out over another gap that he would need to jump a few platforms over to break just to jump back over those same few platforms. He’d just need to hope that passing up those boxes wouldn’t cost him the challenge.

Looking up, Slippy saw a few more boxes floating in the air. Running over to a box on the ground, Slippy jumped off it and tried jumping on the boxes from above. He managed to break most of them but missed the last couple and fell on the ground awkwardly. Looking up, Slippy saw that he had no way to get to the remaining floating boxes since his original jump on the one on the ground had broken it.

“Ugh. That’s going to bug me the rest of the day…” He muttered as he continued on.

Slippy continued running, breaking more boxes as he went. He lost a bit more time by falling into a pit again thanks to a failed jump but otherwise he managed to keep his pacing decent as he continued through his part of the course.

Sophie, still annoyed that it took her quite a few tries to collect her crystal, had fallen a fair bit behind Slippy just because it had taken her so long to get herself back on track. Sophie didn’t know where she was in contention with the other two players, but she only had determination to continue on and hope that, if she was indeed behind, she was breaking more boxes than the others since that was the priority here.

Sophie stopped when she saw some more crates isolated on a platform and groaned. “Oh, come on! I wasted enough time trying to jump to collect the crystal!” She whined. “Ugh. I wish I could break boxes by throwing something…”

Deciding to take the chance, Sophie tried jumping towards the isolated crates, but quickly misjudged the jump and fell into the pit, getting teleported back to safety. She was already looking annoyed with the situation.

“Nope! I’m not wasting more time trying to jump to platforms!” Sophie said as she continued onward, leaving the crates unbroken.

Joshua, darts sticking out of his entire body, cursed each and every one of the villagers as he broke some more boxes, running on anger and adrenaline at this point. He refused to let any crate go unbroken at this point since he figured he had some frustration that needed to be expulsed from his body.

“Stupid challenge…Stupid tribe people…” Joshua muttered as he continued jogging. “…Ugh…I think I’m actually getting used to the pain…”

Suddenly, something caught Joshua’s eye. He saw the crystal he was supposed to collect, sitting on a small platform in between two pressure plate traps.

“Ugh. MORE traps. Of COURSE.” Joshua rolled his eyes.

Joshua knew that he either needed to jump directly onto the platform containing the crystal and jump over the trap squares entirely or be quick enough to avoid another barrage of blowdarts that the tribe people hiding off the course would be sure to aim for his posterior. Deciding to try for the former since he wasn’t confident enough in his ability to outrun more darts, Joshua made a leap of faith…

Luckily, Joshua managed to stick the landing, sailing over the first trap square and collecting his crystal at the same time. Taking a breath, Joshua jumped again, leaping over the second trap square and managing to avoid the darts altogether.

Joshua breathed a sigh of relief. “Yeesh. That was a little too close for comfort…” He muttered.

Sophie screamed as she ran past a trap, causing darts to get shot at her from all directions. Clutching her crystal, Sophie pushed her way through the danger zone until she was in the clear. A few darts had managed to hit her (nowhere near the amount that stuck to Joshua) but she was otherwise okay. Sophie took a couple of seconds to pull the darts from her arms and legs.

“Owww…” Sophie said as she pulled the last dart. “Maybe I should stop flinging darts at people back home out of boredom if that’s what they feel like…”

Sophie looked back. In the chaos of trying to avoid the darts she managed to miss a few more boxes. Sophie groaned as she continued onward, hoping that it wouldn’t hurt her score at the end of the challenge.

A little bit later, as the final three players continued to make their way through the course, SSBFreak stood at the end of the course, waiting for the three to finish the challenge patiently. Suddenly hearing noise coming from inside the challenge area, SSBFreak glanced at the combined exit to see who was coming out first.

Slippy emerged first, darts sticking out of his limbs but otherwise okay. Slippy, seeing the host, rushed over to him and handed in his crystal.

“Slippy is the first to finish.” The host announced.

Slippy would be waiting alone outside of the challenge area for a good twenty seconds before Sophie rushed out next. Sophie jogged up to the host and, like Slippy, handed over the crystal she collected.

“Sophie is now done as well.”

Slippy and Sophie waited for Joshua, and eventually the two had waited for a good minute and a half. Sophie looked at Slippy. “You think he’s okay in there?” She asked.

“He’s pretty stubborn. He’ll probably be out anytime now.” Slippy said with a nervous chuckle.

It was another twenty seconds after that when Joshua finally emerged from the challenge area, darts stills sticking out of his body. He pushed himself towards the host and thrust the crystal into his hands.

“WHY DO YOU HAVE A TRIBE OF ANGRY DART-LAUNCHERS IN THERE?!” Joshua demanded.

“Papu Papu wanted vengeance on you guys for destroying his hut so many times this season.” SSBFreak shrugged as he accepted the crystal. “But now you’re done, so we can calculate how many boxes you guys broke.”

“NONE OF THOSE DESTRUCTIONS WERE ON US!!” Joshua yelled as SSBFreak walked off to see what the final result was.

(Later…)

SSBFreak returned to the finalists with the results. The three had managed to pull all of the darts out of their bodies while waiting and it was noticeable that Joshua had a larger pile of darts stacked up on the ground compared to Slippy or Sophie.

“Okay. You each managed to collect the crystal, so we have no automatic disqualifications.” SSBFreak said. “Slippy, you finished first and out of a total of 104 crates scattered throughout that course, you managed to break an even 90.”

“Okay. Better than I thought…” Slippy mused.

SSBFreak turned to Sophie. “Sophie, you were the second one to finish. If you broke more boxes than Slippy, you take the lead.” He said.

Sophie waited impatiently.

“…You broke 84 crates. Slippy retains the leads.”

“Aw…” Sophie pouted.

This left Joshua. “Joshua, you need to hope that you broke more than 90 crates if you want to win because of how much longer it took you to finish the course.” He explained.

“Papu Papu’s men were shooting darts into my butt!!” Joshua yelled. “I don’t appreciate that!!”

Joshua rolled his eyes and waited for the results.

“…You can relax, Joshua. You broke 97 crates.” SSBFreak said. “That means that Joshua wins the final Immunity!”

“I made sure to break everything I could.” Joshua said as he accepted the Immunity necklace.

“Joshua, you’re safe tonight, and for that you will have the sole vote in deciding which of your two fellow finalists will be made the final member of the jury.” SSBFreak said as he turned to the other two finalists. “Slippy. Sophie. I’m afraid I don’t have any good news for you. One of you will be voted out of the game tonight after 38 long, hard-fought days, and your fate is entirely in Joshua’s hands. I suggest that you use the time you have to try and pitch yourself at camp, because you’ll be asked to make one final pitch at tonight’s Tribal Council. You can head back to camp.”

(Charmandeer Tribe)

“Well, congrats on winning the challenge, Josh.” Sophie said. “That must take a load off your shoulders.”

“You’d THINK that, wouldn’t you?” Joshua sighed.

“Having Immunity in the final three is a double-edged sword. It guarantees that I’ll be making the finale, but it also means that I alone get to choose who goes to the end with me, and that decision alone either makes or breaks your chances in the end. I’ve seen both happen a LOT of times.” Joshua shook his head. “Now I’m left with the choice of having to take either Slippy or Sophie to the end with me and, quite frankly, I have no idea who will give me a better chance in the end against.”

Sophie tilted her head. “So what’s bothering you? I kinda thought you’d be more-excited to have that.” She noted. “I mean, you’re getting into the finals now, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, but now I’m faced with a vote that I really think is the hardest vote in the game because MY game could hinge on it.” Joshua folded his arms.

“Things are a bit more-unknown when you play the game for real, aren’t they?” Slippy smirked.

Joshua gave another sigh. “Yeah, pretty much. I guess when I watch it on TV things just seem so much easier since there isn’t a million dollars on the line.” He replied. “I guess when the choices don’t impact me I can see the outcomes easier…”

“Aw, I’m sure you’ll make what you feel is the best choice.” Sophie said assuredly.

Joshua glanced down at Sophie. “And what may that be?” He asked. “Is this the part where you guys pitch yourselves to me to vote out the other?”

Sophie shook her head. “Nah. I’m gonna enjoy the waterfall some more. I’ll save the mud-slinging for Council.” She said as she wandered off.

“Could I be shooting myself in the foot? Maybe. I mean, Slippy’s got all the chances he needs to try and throw me under the bus, but if he did without me fighting back then what’d that make HIM out to be in the eyes of the others?” Sophie shrugged. “Slippy’s too smart to pick a fight with someone who doesn’t want to fight back until the time is right and, quite frankly, if I never get the chance to do it again I want to enjoy the things to do around camp one more time before we go to Council.”

Slippy watched her go and turned to Joshua. “Well, if she’s not going to pitch herself until Council I guess I won’t either.” He added.

“You don’t want to be seen as picking on her?” Joshua asked.

“Hey, if she’s not going to fight until Council the last thing I want is to be seen as a bully.”

Sophie climbed to the top of the cliff and approached the edge of the waterfall. Taking a moment to look around at the view, Sophie jumped off the cliff, cannonballing into the water below with a cheer. Sophie emerged from the water laughing and swam around a bit.

“Ah, that never gets old…” Sophie said contentedly.

“Sophie?”

Sophie watched and saw Slippy come over to sit by the edge of the water. “What’s up, Slippy?” Sophie asked.

“…Aren’t you worried?” Slippy asked back. “Our fate is out of our hands tonight. Joshua could literally vote either way.”

“Yeah, that’s why I’m not worried. It’s as you say: Our fate’s out of our hands. Why dwell on the impending vote? It’ll just make you more-nervous about Council, where your energy should be focused.” Sophie explained with a shrug.

Slippy was silent. “So what’s your plan for Council?” He asked.

“Meh. I’ll probably just wing it.”

“For the second time, I’m finding myself in a position where it’ll be either me or someone else going. First I was against Drillbit and now it’s Sophie. I mean, I’m used to relying on others back home; I guess that much it pretty obvious. However, out here I need to be more-comfortable with making decisions for myself and I’ve learned to not count on ANYONE out here.” Slippy explained. “Sophie’s remaining carefree about this, much like how Drillbit was, as if she’ll accept any result that happens tonight, but I don’t know if I can be that carefree. If I get eliminated one day before the finals, I’d be pretty upset about how close I’d gotten only to fall short. I just don’t get how Sophie doesn’t feel the same way…”

A bit later, Joshua was sitting by himself by the shelter, in thought. He hadn’t really moved a lot since getting back to camp from the challenge, but neither Slippy or Sophie had really pitched themselves to him to get him to make up his mind on how to vote

“Ugh. Why is this so frustrating?!” He asked himself. “Sophie’s got votes, Slippy’s got votes, and I have no idea how anyone else would vote!”

Joshua sat back and continued muttering to himself. “If I take Sophie to the end, she’ll automatically have Krista and…Probably Kamek. If I take Slippy to the end he’ll probably have Rosalyn and maybe Kamek as well. I could probably write Kamek off altogether, while I’m at it. He never really interacted with me until the merge and I was quick to vote him out.” He mused. “Man…What to do, what to do…”

“You ready, Joshua?”

Hearing Slippy’s voice, Joshua looked up and saw Slippy and Sophie standing outside the shelter, looking like they were ready to head out. “It’s time to head to Council, from the looks of things.” Slippy said. “Treemail just arrived.”

Joshua gave a sigh as he stood up. “I hope you two are ready to make pitches to me to keep you, because this is honestly the hardest choice I’ve probably ever had to make in the game…” He said.

“Yeah, you can expect the pitches to start then. I just didn’t feel like doing it at camp.” Sophie shrugged.

“Well, I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” Joshua sighed. “Best of luck, you two.”

“I REALLY hope that the two can make a convincing argument at Council because, if I’m being honest, my mind isn’t quite made up yet. I could see myself going to the end with each of them, but at the same time I can see several scenarios where I lose to each of them, so I need to get through tonight and then focus on how I’m going to answer Jury questions tomorrow.” Joshua pointed out. “I guess part of being the superfan is that you always think you can do what you watch others do on TV, but when the time comes to actually do it the choices become so much harder…”

“Going into this I’m trying to keep a clear mind because I know Sophie’s going to come at me with everything she’s got in an attempt to get Josh to keep her. I know my game isn’t guaranteed to be safe until I see Josh’s vote tonight, and even then I know that if I get through tonight I’m going to have an even-more nerve-wracking night tomorrow.” Slippy rubbed his head before shaking his head. “N-No. One thing at a time. I need to focus on tonight, and that means trying to get through the vote. I’ve just got to hope that Sophie messes up or something to get Joshua to keep me around.”

“Honestly…Yeah, I’m actually a bit nervous. Not going to lie. I just didn’t want to make a scene at camp and ruin potential chances of Joshua keeping me over Slippy. I’m hopefully giving myself enough time to plan out my pitch during the downtime around camp, but I also know I’m giving Slippy the same time to do the same thing.” Sophie folded her arms. “I know I’ve got the ability to win if I make it to the end, but I need to get through tonight to do it. Anything’s possible at this point, especially considering the type of season this has been, so my chances of sticking around are just as good as Slippy’s are.”


(Tribal Council)

The final three walked into Tribal Council, carrying torches. They saw only three seats laid out this time, all in a row, and sat down, with Joshua sitting in between Slippy and Sophie, as they waited for the council to begin.

“Before we start, let’s bring out the current members of the jury.” SSBFreak said. “Kamek, Tamara, Zera, Rosalyn, Krista and Drillbit, who was voted out at the last Tribal Council.”

Drillbit shuffled into Tribal Council at the end of the line of jurors. Everyone saw that he had actually ditched the construction outfit and had swapped it out for a red tank-top with an explosion design on the back and a pair of jeans. His trademark hat was gone, showing a head of short, brown hair. Drillbit’s eyepatch, however, remained. The jury of six sat down on the bench as SSBFreak continued.

“The jury is almost complete, but we’re meant to have a jury of seven this season, meaning one of you will be joining them tonight as the final cut of the season one day from the end.” SSBFreak said as he started asking questions. “Slippy, let’s start with you. Last time, Drillbit was voted out, and you two obviously had some sort of rivalry going on. How did you feel finally voting him out?” He asked.

“I went over this with Josh and Sophie. I WISH I could say I was satisfied with finally managing to vote Drillbit out, but in the end I don’t know if I can.” Slippy shook his head. “Drillbit was someone who, in all honesty, was just here to have fun and harboured no ill will towards any of us.”

“We also went over this, Slippy: It doesn’t matter what Drillbit’s motives were. He caused everyone a lot of headaches and you were a frequent target of his.” Joshua folded his arms.

“Most of the verbal stuff he said to me was mostly harmless teasing and, quite frankly, stuff I’m used to hearing from Falco anyway. I’d obviously be feeling better about myself if Drillbit was a genuinely malicious person, but…Well, he really wasn’t. He was just someone who hated being bored.”

Drillbit gave a shrug. “Meh. It’s good to see that he’s at least got a conscience.” He said.

“Unlike YOU?” Zera smirked.

“Touche.”

“Joshua, you were also someone who had to deal with Drillbit. What made you decide to vote him off?” The host asked.

“It’s as I said: He caused everyone a lot of headaches and he was unpredictable enough that taking him to the end could have been dangerous.” Joshua said. “He destroyed my alliance single-handedly, even if it WAS solely to make things more-interesting for him.”

“Hey, YOU guys thought it’d be a good idea to trust him in the first place.” Sophie shrugged. “If anything, him turning on you woke you up to how dangerous he actually was and that you should’ve probably listened to Slippy a lot sooner.”

Joshua gave a sigh. “Look, I’ll admit I made some…Questionable decisions regarding Drillbit, but in the end I’m fully-admitting that, yes, he was way better at the game than we all thought he was.” He admitted.

“Again, something I knew since the early days of the game. I guess I’m just used to no one taking me seriously.” Slippy half-teased.

“Come on, Slippy! Don’t say things like that!” Sophie scolded.

“Hey, it’s not like I’m lying. Everyone here knows how little I get taken seriously back home.” Slippy shrugged. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it took people so long to listen. Get this: The only person to actually believe me in the pre-merge days was LARRY. Let that sink in for a second.”

“Is Slippy trying to play himself up for votes?” Rosalyn asked.

“No. I think it’s him having a playful dig at Joshua.” Kamek replied.

“Yeesh.” Joshua said before pausing. “Look, Slippy. Can’t we just move past that? I feel that I’ve been given enough karma for not believing your claims about Drillbit, especially since it was because of him I was forced to play for no one but myself since the final six due to losing both of my allies in ONE night.”

“Joshua, how about we move past that? Drillbit’s gone. We don’t have to worry about it anymore.” Sophie explained. “What we should be doing is focusing on the now.”

“I find it odd how you, of all people, are telling me that.”

“Heck, I LIVE in the now.” Sophie grinned. “You spend too much time dwelling on the past and you never get anything done.”

“Totes why she didn’t waste any time mourning me, by the way.” Krista assured with a smirk.

“Okay. Moving on, then.” SSBFreak said. “Sophie, how was the day at camp after the last council?”

“Kinda quiet, to be honest. There’s not really much to do around camp when there’s no one around to spend some time with.” Sophie admitted. “I guess that’s the trade-off when you get closer to the end; you get bored around camp easier because there’s a lack of stuff going on.”

“Yeah, I’ll admit it was kind of hard finding ways to keep ourselves occupied during the past couple of days.” Joshua agreed. “And there’s only so much we can talk to each other with when there’s only three of us around.”

“But, then again, none of us are each other’s ideal conversation candidates, anyway.” Sophie gave a shrug. “Krista I could click with easily, you and Zera could bounce ideas off each other and even Slippy could confide in Rosalyn.”

“Yeah, the silence can get a bit awkward too, especially since we’d have no idea how to talk to each other.” Slippy added.

“Yeesh. I’m glad I got eliminated if it was so boring around camp.” Drillbit noted.

“You’d find a way to have fun.” Kamek rolled his eyes. “You usually do.”

“Joshua, this is not only the fourth time you’ve won Immunity, but also the most-important Immunity of the season since you’re going to be the sole vote tonight.” SSBFreak said. “Any thoughts?”

“Wait. He’s seriously won FOUR times?” Zera lifted an eyebrow.

Joshua gave a lamentful sigh. “I wish I could say that I felt great about having Immunity right now, but truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed about a vote.” He admitted. “The game’s a lot different when you play it as opposed to watching it, and all I can think of now is the fact that I’m literally thinking about my own endgame here even though I’m in no danger.”

Sophie gave a smirk. “You’re all stressed about which of us could beat you in the end, aren’t you?” She asked.

“Look, to be fair, you guys are both viable winner candidates and I went through a LOT of potential scenarios in my head for each of you. You guys are both VERY capable threats, and that just makes the choice that much harder.” Joshua shook his head. “And to top it all off, these two are saving their pitches for tonight so neither of them did anything to pitch themselves to me after the challenge.”

“I would have had Sophie not backed away from doing it. I’d come off as a bully if I tried to make a pitch against someone who didn’t want to fight back at the time.” Slippy added.

Joshua sighed. “Well, I can’t fault you for wanting to take the high road, at least.” He said.

“Why didn’t you try to pitch yourself until now, Sophie?” The host asked.

“If this was my last day, I wanted to make sure I used the most of my time just doing my own thing like I’ve been doing since the start. Not really much productive, but all the fun, active stuff that Krista and I spent our days doing.” Sophie explained. “I didn’t want to waste any time talking or thinking strategy and that I’d get my chance to make my pitch now.”

“Weren’t you afraid that you’d be giving Slippy a head-start, though?”

“I mean, sure, I was running a risk, but it’s like Slippy said, if he pitched himself against me when I refused to do anything about it he’d be painting himself in a more-negative light with Joshua and for this vote that’s kind of what the two of us want to avoid.” Sophie shrugged.

“Yeah, once Sophie said she wasn’t going to pitch herself at camp it kind of took any thought of doing it myself away as well.” Slippy folded his arms.

“Okay. As usual, we’re doing things a bit different for the last vote compared to the rest of the season. Joshua is the only one voting tonight since Slippy and Sophie can only vote for each other and the votes are automatically cancelled out.” SSBFreak explained. “So instead, I will give each of the two of you a chance to pitch yourselves to Joshua to tell him why he should keep you and take you to the finals with him. Remember that your game is on the line here, so make sure that you give your all in these pitches. Slippy, since we’ll go alphabetically, we’ll start with you.”

Slippy nodded. “Joshua, you should know by now that Sophie’s a huge threat, and has made more moves in this game than either of us combined, and I really don’t think it was even her intention to become the power player she has. You may think that she’ll be an easier opponent in the end because she’s probably made a few people mad at her for everything she and Krista masterminded, but remember that she’ll have at least two votes cemented if you take her to the end. Krista will obviously not vote for anyone else and Kamek told Rosalyn and I that he enjoyed the magic lessons that he was giving her.” Slippy informed. “The others may be undecided for all I know, but I know for a fact that you’d have a hard time beating her in the end. People who reward gameplay with votes will likely give Sophie their vote, even if she wasn’t trying or intending to make the moves in the first place. At least with me I don’t have any guaranteed votes going into the finals.”

“Sophie, would you continue?”

Sophie folded her arms. “Look, Joshua. I’ll admit that Krista and I did some things that we…Normally wouldn’t have done just for the sake of getting each other further into the game so we could continue to enjoy it together, but in the end I would say that I’m the lesser threat between Slippy and I. Slippy’s the ultimate underdog here. He was the biggest contributor in the fight against Drillbit, was pretty much the glue that held his alliance together and he himself is just someone you can’t help but root for. I have enemies on the jury, but he doesn’t. Heck, I’m sure even Drillbit would give his vote to him out of respect or something. Either way, Slippy’s already got the votes to win and he doesn’t need to do anything.” Sophie replied. “Don’t believe me? Even if he doesn’t have the votes needed to win, he’s definitely got at least the same number of votes cemented as I do. You vote me out and Krista and I will be guaranteed to vote for him in the end, and that’s just us, without going into the probability of Kamek and Rosalyn voting for him. You may think I’m a threat or something, but I’ll say that Slippy’s a way bigger threat. You take him to the end and he WILL win.”

“Okay. That’s both pitches made. Does this help you make up your mind, Joshua?” The host asked.

“Well, it helps shed some light on some things, but it raises a few more concerns as well.” Joshua looked away. “But…I guess I’ll just have to go with my gut on this one. I think I’m ready to vote.”

“Good to hear. Okay, with that, it’s now time for the final vote-off of the season.” SSBFreak said. “Joshua, if you could, would you please go make your vote?”

Joshua nodded, got up and left the hut to go vote. He approached the table and took a moment, as if to go through his thoughts and see if he was making the right choice. “Well…I guess there’s no going back now.” He admitted as he took a ballot, scribbled a name down and put the vote into the urn.

Once Joshua voted, SSBFreak left the hut and returned with the urn. “Once I give the results, the person who Joshua voted for will be asked to bring forward their torch and leave Tribal Council immediately.” He said.

SSBFreak reached into the urn.

“First and only vote…”

Sophie grit her teeth nervously and wiped her forehead.

“…Seventh and final member of the jury…”

Slippy was sweating and nervously fidgeted in his seat.

“…And sixteenth person voted out of Survivor: Central Hub…”

The jury remained quiet, wondering who Joshua had voted for.

Sophie and Slippy exchanged glances.

Joshua closed his eyes and looked down.

SSBFreak finally turned the ballot around.

“…Slippy. You need to bring me your torch.”

His eyes widening in surprise when he saw his name, Slippy finally exhaled and looked down as Sophie gave a sigh in relief. “So that’s it, then. A day before the finals. Heh…Just my luck, huh?” He lamented as he stood up.

“Sorry, Slippy. You were a way bigger threat.” Joshua shook his head.

Slippy paused and gave a half-hearted chuckle. “That sounds kinda ironic but, for what it’s worth, it DOES make me feel a bit better.” He noted as he grabbed his torch and brought it to the host. “Just remember that now I’ll make sure not to pull any punches tomorrow.”

“Slippy, Joshua has spoken.” SSBFreak extinguished Slippy’s torch. “It’s time for you to go.”

“Hold up a second!”

Everyone turned to the entrance of the hut and watched as a large kart-like vehicle was pushed into Council, pushed by the unlikely duo of Coco Bandicoot and N. Gin.

“This is the last boot of the season! We wanted to make it something special!” N. Gin said happily. “So the female rodent and I worked tirelessly on this magnificent beast of a machine over the last twelve hours! The fireworks this will cause is enough to make me soil myself in excitement!”

“Don’t worry. I made sure that this thing won’t explode.” Coco assured Slippy as the two pushed the kart over to him. “All you gotta do is get in and push a button.”

“Uh…What is it?” Slippy asked. “It took you guys just twelve hours to put this together?”

“It’s a rocket-fueled, all-terrain go-kart! It goes zero-to-sixty in two seconds and its top speed is high enough to spatter your innards all over the BACK window in a glorious surrealism painting of bodily fluids!” N. Gin said.

“Before I do, could I take a look at a few things?” Slippy asked as he walked over.

“Um…Slippy, you need to go.” SSBFreak said.

“This’ll only take a second.” Slippy replied as he opened the hood and took a look inside. “Let’s see…The overlay of your ex-reploratory coils could be way more efficient if they were switched to the fourth relay position…The Hoovian power capsules could link straight into the titanium-laced coordinative chamber…Is this a class G4 flux-capacitor? Yeesh, you guys are old-school, aren’t you?”

Coco and N. Gin looked at each other awkwardly as Slippy continued to work around their kart, quickly getting to the back. “Hey, what makes you such an expert, anyway?” Coco lifted an eyebrow.

Slippy looked up, showing that he already had some specks of oil on his face. “I hand-crafted a submarine that not only generates an unlimited supply of self-replenishing homing torpedoes but can also barrel-roll UNDERWATER so fast that it can deflect enemy fire.” He replied simply. This got Coco to shut up.

“Okay. I can safely admit that he’s a better mechanic than I am.” Drillbit piped up.

“Hey, could you guys get in for a second?” Slippy asked. “I need you to test something on the dash.”

“Uh…Okay.” Coco said as she and N. Gin climbed into the kart. “What exactly did you do, anyway?”

“I ramped up the speed of your kart so that instead of zero-to-sixty in two seconds, you’ll go zero-to-one-twenty in about half a second.” Slippy said. “You guys may want to hold on.”

“Wait. What?” Coco and N. Gin said as one.

Slippy gave the jet engine turbine attached to the back of the kart a good whack, igniting it and bringing the kart to life. In an instant, the kart tore straight out the door to Tribal Council, carrying a screaming Coco and N. Gin with it, going so fast that it left flaming tire tracks on the ground.

The council was silent, realizing that Slippy had just managed to turn the tables on the people that were to remove him from Council. Slippy dusted himself off and turned to the slack-jawed audience. “That’s how you outsmart a genius.” He smirked as he casually strolled out of Tribal Council and finally vanished from sight.

SSBFreak stared in silence for a few seconds before turning to the remaining two players. “Um…And just like that, we’re down to the last two players left in the game. Slippy’s elimination completes this season’s jury of seven, and the two of you remaining can now relax a bit since you no longer need to actively participate in any more challenges. That said, your game is still not over. You have one more council left; the most important one in the entire game.” He explained. “Joshua. Sophie. You two have outlasted sixteen other people to become the last two standing, but now comes the hardest part of your games. Seven of the people you outlasted will be the ones that will be awarding one of you the million dollar prize at the end. You guys have one more day left, so I would recommend that you use that day to mentally prepare yourself for any and all questions the jury will ask you, because I can assure you that no one will be holding anything back. I’ll see you tomorrow for that very-important Tribal Council, but for now, you can both head back to camp.”

Joshua and Sophie stood up, collected their torches and left Tribal Council the way they came in for the last time. The two had played very different games, made very different moves and had very different experiences in the game. They both knew that they needed to be ready for the following night’s Tribal Council, because at the end of it, one would be a millionaire. And they were both knew that they each had a good shot at winning…

“I made it way further than I ever thought I could in a game like this. I knew people back home likely expected me to be out relatively early, but me making it to third was something even I didn’t see coming. This game…It was definitely something, I’ll admit.” Slippy said. “I’m taking quite the experience back home, and while I didn’t walk away with the million in the end, I guess you could say that I’m going back with a lot more self-respect than I did going in. I guess that has to count for something…”

Voting History:
Slippy – Joshua
Survivor CH8: Day 38 Part 2
The finale of Central Hub continues, we've only one day left and we're down to our last two people, but not before we fill the jury bench and have one more elimination...
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Slippy's a very interesting case. He was actually the last canon I cast, but when I did I realized I had a good unexpected hero to clash with Drillbit's unexpected villain. Going into this I'm sure a lot of people probably would have thought Slippy would be an early boot, but I played him up as a driving force of the season with him being the major opposition to the season villain. In my original draft of the season he wasn't actually the last canon eliminated (that role was originally held by Rosalyn) and in a couple scenarios he was even the winner, but he was always a late-gamer in every iteration of the season.

My portrayal of Slippy here is based on how I generally feel about Slippy as a character: A genius inventor responsible for almost all of Starfox's tech, but someone no one takes seriously at the start on account of his reputation of not being as good a pilot as the others on his team (which consist of the leader, an ace showoff and someone who's been flying for decades). I didn't want to portray Slippy as putting him on a pedestal or anything, but I guess I just wanted this as a way to flesh out my headcanons on Slippy.

But now that this is done, we're down to the final two. Joshua vs. Sophie. One's a Survivor superfan who, despite a string of bad luck, refused to back down from the unpredictable craziness of the season, and the other's an energetic, paranormal enthusiast who values having a good time, put her best friend first and became a surprising power player. Who will win? When will we find out?

...Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm still writing it.
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(Charmandeer Tribe)

“Well, I’m glad we could at least have ONE unanimous vote after the merge.” Joshua sighed as the final three walked into camp after council.

“Eh, even HE knew he was on borrowed time at that point. I didn’t really see him fight back that much.” Sophie admitted before turning to Slippy. “How’re you feeling about finally getting the last laugh on Drillbit, Slippy?”

“Honestly?...I don’t know. I mean, I always THOUGHT I’d be satisfied to get him out of my hair, but…He really wasn’t trying to be the villain. He was, in the end, just a guy who wanted to have fun.” Slippy admitted.

Joshua quickly interjected. “But his way of having fun was screwing himself over at every turn, which also screwed over the rest of us at the same time.” He reminded.

“I know, but for all the headaches he caused I still can’t really feel that vindicated with his elimination.” Slippy shook his head.

“Drillbit’s finally gone…And, really, I SHOULD be happy about that. I didn’t want to rub it in his face or say that I finally got the last laugh. I just…Treated it as another vote. Even if the end result was the one result I’ve been lobbying for for almost the entire game.” Slippy admitted. “But I can’t help but feel…Well, NOTHING. No real satisfaction at all. Just the feeling that the game isn’t over yet, but it’s just that Drillbit isn’t a part of it anymore.”

“So…Final three, huh?” Joshua smirked. “Feels a bit surreal, I’ll admit.”

“You honestly didn’t think you’d make it this far with how much you’ve researched?” Sophie smirked back.

Joshua couldn’t help but chuckle. “Not really, no. And with everything that’s been happening this season to begin with I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle from the start.” He admitted.

“Hey, join the club.” Slippy shrugged.

“Things…Haven’t really been going my way since the beginning, or at least not the way I was expecting them to go. I came into this game expecting to know the ins and outs of every cliché, twist and curveball thrown at the cast, but I guess no amount of research can prepare you for certain things.” Joshua folded his arms. “But, against all that, here I am in the final three. I know there’s one more challenge and vote, but at least here I can say that I’ve crossed another milestone.”

“So where does that leave us, then? I mean, we’ve still got one more challenge.” Sophie asked.

“I guess we’ll come to it when it gets there.” Joshua noted. “Frankly, I think we’ve earned a bit of rest after that vote.”

“Yeah. I say we just worry about it tomorrow.” Slippy nodded. “If memory serves me right, we’ll even have the Rites of Passage tomorrow before the challenge. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to it.”

“Oh, heck yeah.” Joshua grinned. “Another milestone!”

Sophie gave a shrug. “Eh, if you guys are fine to just wing it, that’s okay with me. It’s what I’ve been doing since the start, anyway.” She admitted.

Slippy gave a sigh. “Not that any sort of strategy would prepare us for anything. It hasn’t worked for anything yet and…It kind of seems like the THEME of the entire season right about now.” He said.

“Yeah, I’ll give you that one.” Joshua sighed.

“Honestly, I’m glad I’m here, don’t get me wrong. I’m just in the final three with a couple of guys that…Probably aren’t my first choices for people to be in the finals with. If I can actually think about the game for once…I’m not sure how I’d feel about my chances against either Joshua or Slippy.” Sophie admitted. “I mean, sure, I’d try my hardest and I’m sure I’d get a few votes, but I know I’ve probably got more than a couple of people cross at me…”

(Charmandeer Tribe; Day 38)

Joshua sat out by the beach, alone and gazing out into the ocean. He seemed like he was thinking about something, as he wasn’t really paying attention to the view of the ocean he had.

“Wow…Can’t believe I’m actually here…It’s a bit surreal.” Joshua admitted.

“I guess the reality of everything just set in last night. I came into this thinking I was prepared, and while making it to the end would be amazing, coming into this I really was counting on me getting blindsided long before now. I guess that’s just how things seem to go in these things. Superfans almost never really get to the end. It HAPPENS, but it’s rare.” Joshua explained. “And with everything that’d happened to me over the course of the game I was expecting to get the axe, like, a week to ten days ago. I think I’ve actually surprised myself just by getting here.”

“Ugh…Who’d be better in the finals with?” Joshua muttered. “It’s so much easier to think of that when you’re watching it on TV…”

Joshua stood up, brushed himself off and started walking through camp. “Sophie’s got Krista’s vote locked, and Slippy may have Rosalyn.” He mused. “I know I’d have Zera. Tamara may vote for me as well. The others…I dunno. Too hard to pin down…”

“The finals are always the biggest points in the game, and the top thing on everyone’s mind is likely just trying to think of who would be the ideal final two player since we know there’s obviously no final three this season.” Joshua said. “For me, each of the others likely has at least one vote locked down, but would either of them vote for me in the end in they were taken out tonight? I…Honestly have no idea. No amount of research and preparation can prepare you for Day 38.”

Joshua walked through camp, in his old little world, on his way to check the treemail box. As he did, he passed the vine swing, where Sophie was swinging by herself, again absentmindedly. She looked carefree as always but it was clear her thoughts were elsewhere.

“Day 38…I actually made it. Heh. I’m sure Grunkle Stan owes a few people some money by now…Or maybe it’s the other way around?” Sophie pondered. “I mean, I guess if Mabel supported me she’d convince her family to do so as well…”

Sophie bit her lip in thought, wondering what her chances were in the end. “I guess…The only vote I really have is Krista. I could probably rule out Tamara and Zera for sure.” She admitted. “I guess I could sway some of the other guys to vote for me, though…”

“I honestly am not real sure about how good my chances are in a realistic endgame. Against Josh OR Slippy. I know anything’s possible and all, but in the end I can’t deny that I’ve done some things just to make it this far and I know some people would call me out on it.” Sophie admitted. “The only thing I can really do is try my hardest in the challenge and try to make the final day, but if I make it that far I know I’ll probably have to make a heck of a case to try and get people to give me their votes…”

Sophie glanced to the small body of water at the basin of the waterfall and instinctively started swinging harder, quickly getting to the point where she was flying a good twenty feet back and forth. Finally, at the apex of her swing, Sophie pushed herself off the vine swing, cheering as she launched herself into the water with a loud splash.

In the water, Sophie emerged from under the surface and giggled, swimming for the shore. “Eh, I can’t let myself get bogged down with deep thoughts.” She admitted. “I’ll worry about what to do later and just enjoy the experience for what it is.”

“I’ve made it this far being who I am and, yeah, I’ve made some underhanded moves to do so, but I still haven’t strayed away from who I am. I can’t dwell on what could happen because that’ll just make me nervous and it’d ruin the fun for me. I’ve had a fun time so far and I don’t want to ruin it this close to the end.” Sophie said. “I know something like this takes time to think up a plan but that just isn’t me, and I’ve made it this far by coming up with ideas on the fly, anyway.”

This left Slippy, who was sitting by the fire pit and trying to extinguish the remnants of the fire from last night. He shuffled the firewood around with a stick a few times to allow the embers some room to cool off as he sat on a nearby log. Like the others, he looked like his thoughts were elsewhere.

“Heh. Just by being here I’ve probably surprised some people. I guess that’ll be a good reward to take home when this is done.” Slippy mused. “Maybe I’d finally be taken seriously once in a while…”

His job with the fire pit done, Slippy stood up, stretched, and turned to go check on treemail, unaware that Joshua was doing the same thing, as he contemplated his lot in the game and his chances at the end. “I think I’d have Rosalyn’s vote…Maybe Kamek’s as well, but he could also give his vote to Sophie if he enjoyed his time with her.” He muttered to himself. “Joshua’d probably have Tamara and Zera…Maybe Drillbit. Yeesh. That could be trouble…”

“I know I’ve probably shocked a lot of people by making it this far. Heck, I’ve surprised MYSELF. That said, I’m in a chance to make it to the final two and…I don’t know about my chances. I’d have to work for some votes, yeah, but what scares me is that Joshua may be the one to beat now…” Slippy mused. “I need to remember one thing, though: No matter whom I go into the finals with, if I make it there, I need to remain on my toes. Neither of the others is going to pull any punches.”

Slippy approached the treemail box and looked up absent-mindedly, seeing the Joshua was already there and peeking inside. “Oh. Hey, Josh. I didn’t realize you were checking for treemail.” He explained.

“Yeah. Not really much else to do until it comes, anway.” Joshua nodded.

“Is it there?”

“This time? Yeah.” Joshua said as he pulled an envelope from the box. “Let’s get Sophie. I think it’s time for the Rites of Passage.”

“Awesome!”

“I’ve had a good time so far. An uphill battle, to say the least, but still a good time. That said, I know the game’s not over yet. I know that all three of us realizes that the last challenge and vote is going to be the hardest one of the season.” Slippy pointed out. “But I’m nothing if not stubborn. I can’t speak for the others, but I know I’m not going to be satisfied with my performance until my game’s done and my torch has been put out.”

“Hey, Sophie!” Joshua announced as he and Slippy walked into camp. “Looks like we got treemail!”

“Coming!” Sophie called back as she swam to shore, climbed onto dry land and came over to the others. “I guess it’s time for the Fallen Comrades segment, huh?”

Joshua opened up the note and read it over. “Looks like it.” He said before reading aloud. “Congratulations on making it to the final three, players. You’re one Immunity win away from reaching the end. The vortex will take you to the Rites of Passage segment, where you will take the time to remember the fifteen players that fell before you on the way to your last Immunity Challenge.”

“Well, I guess that settles it, then.” Slippy nodded. “You guys ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Joshua shrugged.

“You bet!” Sophie replied. “Let’s go!”

“The Fallen Comrades segment is going to be a bit bittersweet for me. Not only will I have to relive past blindsides, but also the fact that I lost a few allies a lot earlier than I would have liked. That said, it’s another milestone and another checkmark on the personal list.” Joshua said. “I’m going to try and remain focused on the end goal, but I know there’s two people in my way of that end goal…”

“I’ve made it this far. I’m going to give it my all to go all the way. I’ve…Literally never been this nervous the entire game, though. My safety in the game comes down to one challenge, and if I don’t win, my fate’s out of my hands completely.” Slippy shook his head. “But I’m still giving it my all today, and if I end up going down, heck, I’m going down swinging! I’m on Starfox, darn it! Not giving it my all would embarass myself AND my team!”

“I’m SO looking forward to the Fallen Comrades path. It’ll be fun to reminisce about the others and reflect on the good times. I know others may not have good memories of me, but I can find positives in anyone.” Sophie assured. “So I say bring it on! I’ll just use the memories of this game to fuel myself in the challenge! I’ll give BOTH those guys a run for their money and they won’t even see me coming until I’ve won!”


(Rites of Passage)

A long canoe sat in an open body of water at the start of a long, winding stream. Littering the stream were pictures of previously-eliminated players, each one on a sign sticking out of the shallow water. The vortex portal opened up over the canoe, depositing all three of the finalists into it.

…And by that, we mean that Joshua and Sophie landed in it while Slippy’s metal foot caught the edge of the canoe, tripping the amphibian mechanic into the water with a loud splash. Joshua helped Slippy into the canoe as Sophie glanced ahead.

“I think we just row the canoe down the stream and pass by pictures?” Sophie guessed.

“That’d be my guess.” Slippy sighed, sitting down in the middle of the canoe and wringing out his hat.

“A trip down memory lane. Could be nice.” Joshua noted as he sat down behind the two smaller players.

The three finalists grabbed an oar each as they paddled down the stream, going around a couple of turns.

“This is actually kind of a peaceful area.” Sophie noted. “I wonder where on the island we are…”

“I KNOW. Why couldn’t we have come to this area for literally ANY other part of the game?” Joshua rolled his eyes.

The final three starting rowing down the river, passing by the peaceful fauna and wildlife as they did. Eventually they came to their first target: A sign sticking out of the water, portraying a picture of a red-haired lamb girl with a shy smile. The final three pulled up to the sign and briefly stopped.

“I still regret voting out Lammy first, but it was clear she wasn’t really fit for the game.” Slippy shook his head.

“Why’d you vote her out over someone like Beldam, though? I thought she’d be your first target.” Joshua noted.

“She was, and looking back on it it probably would have been a better idea to get rid of Beldam first after all.” Slippy replied. “But we also knew that Lammy had a lot of confidence issues and didn’t look like she was capable of getting herself through them without her guitar, which she couldn’t have had on the island, anyway.”

“I often wonder why she came on in the first place.”

“Probably a dare or an enlistment from a friend. I think I heard her mention her friend Katy was somehow involved but I can’t remember how.”

“I miss her. I really think we could have gotten along if she lasted a bit longer.” Sophie lamented.

“Sure, I think that it was a mistake to, um, come out here and stuff. I mean, well, I can’t really gain confidence in certain situations and, well, I guess I kind of froze while I was on the island.” Lammy lamented. “Um, I kind of know what Katy was thinking when she…Well, signed me up, but I don’t think going, um, into this headfirst was...Um, the best way to do it. I-I mean, I guess there’s only so much I’d, well, be able to do…”

The second picture in the river was that of a pink-haired young woman with a cloak. The look on her face made her look optimistic, but cautious at the same time.

“I swore to myself that I wouldn’t be a part of a chaotic vote, but it still happened.” Joshua said.

“Hey, YOU’RE the one who thought to try and make a move against what Zera was thinking.” Sophie reminded.

“What the heck happened with Yasmin, anyway?” Slippy asked.

“Get this: Josh and Zera were in a majority alliance, and Joshua still wanted to make a move. He wanted to make a move against Diego, someone who was hitting on all the girls of the tribe, but he didn’t realize that Krista and I had struck up a truce with Diego at the time.” Sophie explained.

Joshua rolled his eyes. “I wasn’t expecting you girls to target Yasmin over Diego, though.” He insisted.

“Like I said, we formed a truce with him because our alliance with Tamara was really going nowhere.” Sophie shook her head. “And, because you split the vote for us, Yasmin ended up going with three votes. She was the only one in your alliance we felt we could afford to vote out.”

“I guess it wasn’t personal, then?” Joshua lifted an eyebrow.

“Joshua, YOU did most of the work for us that night.” Sophie said. “You can’t make something personal when someone else does the work for you.”

“Yeesh. You tribe sounds like it was hectic during the early days.” Slippy rubbed his head.

“Do I think I was voted out unfairly? Not really. Sure, it stings, but I was voted out legitimately. I’ve seen some of the others be sore losers and I refuse to be like that. I can’t take back what happened to me on the island, but I do wish things could have happened a bit differently.” Yasmin pointed out. “I mean, things seemed to fall apart a bit after I left, and Perky and Larry even showed up here. What happened to the alliance?”

The next picture in the river was that of a gray possum with dark gray hair. He looked like he was trying to appear suave and smooth in his picture as the final three approached it.

“The only thing I remember from Diego was him hitting on almost all the girls when we first started.” Slippy explained.

“Yeah, that’s pretty much all we got out of him, too.” Joshua nodded.

“Only because you didn’t take the time to work with him and instead just wrote him off as a pervert.” Sophie folded her arms. “Once Krista and I got him to tone down his tendencies Diego was actually a pretty good ally.”

“I’m still surprised you two gave him the time of day after all that.”

“Diego was a piece of work for a while, but at the end we considered him a part of the alliance.” Sophie said. “He was even able to get Larry to waste his vote when Yasmin was booted.”

“Not that that seemed hard to do.”

“But you guys couldn’t help him from being an early boot.” Slippy said. “I guess first impressions really ARE everything, and the first impressions he gave everyone at the start just weren’t able to go away.”

“I know. I mean, Krista and I would have still gone to the end with each other over him, but we still wish there could have been more that we could have done to help get Diego through that vote.” Sophie nodded as the three paddled onward.

“Eh, I guess I can’t blame anyone but myself for getting off on the wrong foot with all the chicas, but at least I can say I managed to last a week in the game and get into the good graces of a few of the chicas while I was there.” Diego reasoned. “I’ve been trying to be as gentlemanly as possible here so as not to ruin the experience of the others…But, eh, the only chicas I’d hit on here are Lammy and Yasmin. Beldam and Jacqueline are a bit TOO far out for me…And yeah, that’s kinda saying something.”

The next picture showed a dark-haired woman with button eyes and a turtleneck. She had a confident smirk on her face, as if she was completely-unaware of what would eventually befall her in the game. The three finalists pulled up to Beldam’s picture.

“Beldam…Someone who thought she could control the game but no one would have it.” Slippy shook his head. “If she wasn’t such a despicable being I’d probably feel sorry for her.”

“Hey, she DID manage to survive your first vote.” Sophie reminded.

“Sure, because she had Drillbit to place ideas in our heads.” Slippy admitted. “He sided with Beldam solely because he felt he’d have more fun with her than Trilby, by the way.”

“So she and Trilby had it out for each other?” Joshua asked.

“Well…It’s a bit complicated. Trilby could sense Beldam’s aura, or something, and it must have set off several flags that told him she needed to go before she could get the chance to gain power.” Slippy pointed out. “Everyone else just knew she was awful just judging by what we already knew about her.”

“I mean, I probably would have been like that, too.” Joshua explained. “I know what she’s like. I read the book; I watched the movie.”

Sophie blinked. “Um…Is it weird that I still found her interesting, though?” She asked.

Slippy sighed. “Sophie, you’re LITERALLY someone who fits into the age range of her choice prey.” He reminded.

“Yeah, I know. I get it. But I guess it’s just the paranormal fan in me talking.”

“I’m BEYOND livid right now. After all the fighting I did to stay in the game, I get tossed to the wolves by the ONE person in the game I thought I could trust just because he was BORED with working with me!” Beldam insisted. “Ugh! Fourth out is a complete embarrassment for me, and the fact that I went out like that just makes it even worse! I’m supposed to be a menacing villain! How was I taken out so easily?!”

The finalists rowed towards the fifth picture, showing a dark-haired human man wearing a trilby hat. Trilby’s picture was giving the camera a serious, somewhat tired-looking, stare as the finalists approached it.

“I didn’t mind Trilby, but…Yeah, my loyalties were with Rosalyn and Kamek.” Slippy admitted. “I don’t think he ever really clued in, but he was kind of without a real ally on Genager after Lammy was booted.”

“He’s a paranormal detective, though. How could he have missed that?”

“Honestly? Probably because he and Beldam were so preoccupied with each other.”

“Well, from what I remember, when he came over to Oshwat we voted him out because Jacqueline just came to us and outright said she’d vote him out.” Sophie said. “We didn’t really question it since it was Jacqueline putting her own game at risk by doing it.”

“Well, after Beldam left she and Lightning were at each other because they apparently made a deal to take out Trilby first.” Slippy said. “I guess Jacqueline wanted to finish the job.”

Joshua folded his arms. “I dunno how I really feel about him since I’m the only one of us that never shared a tribe with him.” He admitted. “But from what I could tell he seemed like a smart guy. Probably could have become a threat down the line.”

“He was definitely smart. I guess he’s just not used to deception, especially if it’s coming from someone who’s never lied before.”

“Rosalyn?” Joshua and Sophie asked as one.

“Rosalyn.” Slippy nodded as the three moved on.

“I guess I don’t really have anyone to blame but myself for letting my guard down like that. I wish I could have enjoyed the experience more but Beldam took up most of my attention and I was booted just after she was for it.” Trilby sighed. “I guess I may have been too forceful with wanting to eliminate Beldam, but I still know I was completely in the right to suspect her. I guess when you share a tribe with more than a few wild cards, however, you’re never really long for the game…”

The sixth picture seemed to be a bit of a mashup of two pictures of the same strawberry-redhead woman. One side looked cheerful, friendly and had a pleasant smile, while the other had an insane look in her eye, a crooked smirk and a red aura. The three pulled up to the shared picture of Jacqueline and Hyde.

“To be honest…I kinda liked her.” Sophie admitted. “She definitely made things a lot more interesting around camp.”

“I never shared a tribe with her and, with everything that happened on the swapped Genager regardless, I’m glad I never did.” Joshua shook his head. “She’d make things even more-chaotic than they already were.”

“I’ll admit there was a time I wanted to see if I could help Jacqueline. I mean, from first glances it looked like she and Hyde would just fight with each other and wanted to be separated.” Slippy pointed out.

“You can do that?” Sophie asked, surprised.

“It’d be hard, but I think so. But as it turned out the two are super-close despite all the spats they have with each other.” Slippy folded his arms. “My guess is that they’ve been together their whole lives.”

“I don’t know if I find that sweet or concerning…”

Joshua glanced at the picture. “To be fair, I think having Hyde with her gave Jacqueline more of a backbone in the end. If it was just Jacqueline she’d probably let people walk all over her.” He said. “In a strange way having Hyde made her a fiercer competitor.”

“Yeah, I guess I can see it like that.” Slippy shrugged.

“I enjoyed my time on the island. I’d probably do it again if we were asked nicely!” Jacqueline said before reverting to Hyde. “Aw, come on! We were played for suckers! By the maniac that wasn’t even TRYING!” Revert to Jacqueline. “Oh, be nice. Drillbit was trying to have fun and it’s not like he MEANT for us to destroy our alliance with Lightning.” Revert to Hyde. “We ruined our own game because of him!” Revert to Jacqueline. “We can’t blame anyone but ourselves for jumping to conclusions!” Revert to Hyde. “Well, I can blame Lightning...” Revert to Jacqueline. “Yeah, I guess you can.”

The next picture was that of a turquoise, robotic dog. The finalists approached Perky’s picture and glanced at it, seeing that Perky looked like he was giving a smile, but it was impossible to tell from the front.

“Perky’s elimination was the start of my mental downfall and where things finally started coming apart.” Joshua shook his head.

“So let me get this straight; Drillbit found the idol, planted it in a place anyone could find, and then Lightning found it?” Sophie double-checked.

“Pretty much. Apparently he found it before Beldam was eliminated. Her not having it was part of why he turned on her.” Slippy said. “Even by Lightning standards, however, idoling out Perky with three rounds till merge was a stupid idea.”

“I know. Part of why we kept going back to council after that was because he got rid of our strongest player.” Joshua nodded. “Plus, Perky was probably my biggest confidant, especially after the swap. Taking him out of the picture didn’t really help me.”

“Perky was nice and all, but what I remember most about him was the fact that he was the one we all relied on to get Larry out of his situations.” Sophie explained.

“Yeah, him being made of metal and all helped in that regard. Getting Larry out of his situations after Perky left was definitely a headache in itself.” Slippy noted.

“Part of me felt it was Perky liking feeling needed. He’s definitely not like what you’d expect from a FNAF character, especially a possessed animatronic.” Joshua folded his arms.

Sophie blinked. “Are we even SURE he’s possessed? Maybe he’s…Just a sentient animantronic?” She guessed. “I mean…Otherwise he probably would have tried to kill all of us, but he was probably one of the nicest guys on our tribe.”

Joshua paused, then glanced down at Slippy, who similarly paused before shrugging. “I…Honestly don’t know. I mean…It’d make SENSE for him to be possessed since that’s what gives all robots in FNAF life.” He reasoned. “But his behavior DOES seem out of place, I’ll admit.”

“I guess we’ll never know for sure, now.”

“I’ll admit that I was eliminated a bit earlier than I was expecting to be, and that’s a bit of a downer for me, but I still enjoyed my time in the game, for what it’s worth. Sometimes it’s good to just escape the home node and relax for a while. You can’t imagine the amount of stress that comes with being a part of the FNAF franchise.” Perky admitted. “Maybe it’s for the best that I was cut that early, however. If I had made the merge I know everyone would be gunning for me and that would have just made me feel bad…”

The finalists rowed up to Larry’s picture next, seeing the vacant, carefree expression on the green-haired Lemming’s face as they approached it. Like Perky, it was unknown if he was smiling due to being viewed from the front.

“All chaos aside, I really liked Larry. He’s someone anyone could trust and he’d never hurt a fly.” Sophie said with a smile.

“Not intentionally, anyway. Some of the stuff we had to get him out of HURT trying to do so.” Joshua rolled his eyes.

“We DID have Perky for most of that, thankfully.”

Slippy gave a sigh. “I’ll admit that Larry was a nice guy, but sometimes I wonder how he’s been able to make it this far in life.” He pointed out. “I mean, chaos literally follows him wherever he goes and it’s to the point where he’s a walking deathtrap!”

“Video game logic, I guess.” Joshua shrugged. “He told us himself that dead Lemmings respawn after each round. Maybe he’s been killed a few times.”

“Never thought I’d hear that sentence.” Sophie blinked.

“Well, ignoring all the quirks and dangers involved with him, he was at least a real good listener.” Joshua shrugged. “In the end he just wanted the best for people and was willing to do his best to go along with things.”

“But it came with the risk of voting with whoever talked to him last.” Sophie reminded. “Sometimes being simple-minded goes a bit too far.”

“I know. After the first vote we needed to keep a close eye on Larry just before a vote.”

“I wonder what life could have been like for everyone if he had lasted longer, though.” Slippy folded his arms. “I mean, with Perky gone it’d have to fall to us to get Larry out of his situations.”

“I don’t think my health insurance could afford it.” Joshua snarked.

“I guess I did what I was expected to, and that’s all that could really be asked of me in the long run. I mean, I WAS cast to be the dopey comic relief in the pre-merge days, right?” Larry checked, unaware that his hat was somehow on fire. “I know this season had a lot going on but I feel I at least provided some light-hearted moments. At least things have been relatively-quiet at the Loser’s Lounge. I’ve only been in comically-weird situations around three times a day here. That’s gotta be an improvement.”

Joshua and Slippy frowned when they saw who’s picture was next. They saw the dark-skinned, white-haired teenager with the cocky smile and knew from a mile away that it was Lightning.

“Ugh. Can we skip this guy?” Joshua asked.

“Come on. Be nice.” Sophie scolded.

“Believe me, there’s only so much patience a guy can have around Lightning. Admittedly, he wasn’t that bad in the early days and he was actually one of the driving forces for voting out both Beldam and Trilby, but after that things kind of took a downward turn.” Slippy noted.

“Understatement of the century! He saw himself on equal grounds with Perky, idoled him when he saw we were relying on him and then became so insufferably cocky afterwards that it was a chore just putting up with him!” Joshua reminded.

“Well, that’s Lightning for you.” Slippy shrugged. “But the only reason he survived longer than Larry was because Drillbit was helping him, even if it was just for that.”

“I’m glad I never shared a tribe with him, with how you two are talking about him.” Sophie admitted. “He sounds like he would have sucked a lot of fun out of the game just by being on the same team as him.”

Joshua rolled his eyes again. “We learned to try to block him out with his egocentric ramblings but there’s only so much even that would do.” He said. “I know Drillbit was helping him now, but the fact that it cost me TWO allies just to get rid of him is something that’s going to haunt me for a LONG time.”

Slippy took one more glance at the picture before they moved on. “He was…Honestly not as bad in the early stages of the game. I guess he’s the type that just lets the power go to his head when he makes a decent move.” He admitted.

“Except he REALLY didn’t.” Sophie reminded. “Drillbit was the one who found the idol.”

“I’m still sha-mad at everything right now! I’m mad at Drillbit for stringing me along, I’m mad at my tribe for booting me like that, and I’m even sha-mad at myself for just letting it happen in the first place!” Lightning said. “I was freaking sha-robbed! I know I coulda dominated in the merge, and the fact that I didn’t even GET THERE is just more sha-salt in the wounds!...I mean, I’m glad I made the moves, but come on! I coulda done a lot more!”

The final three approached a picture of an old Koopa wearing a blue robe and thick glasses that made it impossible to see his eyes. Sophie grinned happily as the three approached Kamek’s picture.

“I LOVED Kamek! He was just so cool!” Sophie said.

“What did you see in him, Sophie?” Joshua asked. “To me he was just a surprisingly-level-headed old guy.”

“He knew magic! He did it all the time at camp!” Sophie said. “He even took the time to give Krista and I some quick lessons! Sure, they never really amounted to much magic coming from me, but I still really liked the lessons and the fact that he was willing to teach me!”

“You with ANY of Kamek’s magic sounds concerning.” Slippy blinked.

“How about you, Slippy? Did you get any of that from Kamek when you were on a tribe with him?” Joshua asked.

“Not really. Kamek sort of filled the role of alliance leader for him, Rosalyn and I, even though Rosalyn was our double-agent for Trilby. I mean, yeah, he did magic around camp a lot since he would never be allowed to do it in challenges, but he never really offered to teach anyone anything.” Slippy shrugged.

“Because no one on your tribe seemed interested enough, probably.” Sophie grinned. “I think Kamek kind of liked having someone be genuinely interested in what he did. Maybe it made him feel appreciated.”

“I guess that makes sense. He told us that he hated voting for you and Krista at his last council, Sophie.” Slippy admitted. “But not even he could see the blindside coming.”

“I know. It hurt seeing him vote for Krista but it hurt more seeing him leave like that.”

Joshua groaned. “Come on, guys! We saw Kamek as the biggest threat on an alliance of three and we knew we needed to act on it.” He insisted. “The way Krista and Sophie kept talking nothing but praises about him made us realize no one would be able to beat him in the end.”

“But, in doing so, you united four votes in the final eight.” Slippy smirked.

“I’m taking away a few things from this game, such as a feeling of newfound appreciation that I haven’t felt in years. This game was unlike anything I’ve done, and I managed to get through it with very few bodily injuries, which in itself is a new record.” Kamek chuckled. “I guess it was only a matter of time before I failed in true Koopa fashion, but I managed to enjoy myself with the time I was given, and that’s something I can say with certainty.”

The next picture in the river was that of a red-haired, orange tiger girl wearing a pink top. She had a smirk on her face as the final three approached her picture.

“How would you describe Tamara, Sophie? You were the one who dealt with her the most in the early days.” Joshua said.

“Eh, not really much to say. Because Tamara preferred to laze around and get other people to do the work for her, Krista and I made her think that we were in an alliance with her when we really weren’t.” Sophie admitted. “She refused to waver from voting for Zera for the first several days despite us telling her that it was a stupid idea.”

“And yet she still managed to form a truce with her in the end. Funny how that works sometimes.” Joshua chuckled.

“Yeah, because Tamara finally clued in that Krista and I weren’t the easy allies she was looking for. Of course, by the time she realized that we stopped going to council until the merge.”

“Don’t remind me.” Slippy rolled his eyes. “But what do you think would have happened if you guys went back to council before we merged?”

“Honestly, I don’t really want to think about it…But I think Krista and I would have managed to pull through since Kamek liked us. Maybe Tamara wouldn’t have made the merge at all.” Sophie shrugged.

“I didn’t share a tribe with her until merge. Was she REALLY that lazy?” Slippy asked. “Sure, she seemed a bit laid-back when we merged…”

“Laid-back isn’t exactly how I’d describe Tamara.” Joshua chuckled again. “But imagine someone who spent most of the time lazing about in the shelter and contributing little to camp.”

“While at the same time trying to get two people to do her bidding with little effort, and at the same time expecting them to tell her about anything, including if they found an idol.” Sophie continued.

“Yeesh. Maybe it’s for the best that she got a wake-up call, then. If she actually got her way by being lazy, I’d hate to reward that type of gameplay.” Slippy shook his head. “At least during the merge she seemed more-willing to get work done herself.”

“Because she realized no one would do it for her.” Sophie smirked.

“I wish I could say that things went how I wanted them in this game, but I REALLY can’t. I made poor alliance choices, spent too little time trying to get things done myself and I was forced to work with the one person I wanted out in the early game.” Tamara noted. “All I wanted was a relaxing vacation, but I guess even THAT was too much to ask. Well, at least I got a bit of rest and pampering at Ponderosa, so the WHOLE thing wasn’t a complete wash…”

The next picture was that or a purple-haired female punk skater with a lot of body and facial scars. Zera’s picture gave off an amused smirk as the final three’s canoe approached it.

“Zera and I butt heads a lot, or at least we liked to poke fun at each other. It was all in good fun, though.” Joshua said. “She was probably my closest ally and I was honestly super-worried when she was left alone on Oshwat after the swap.”

“Eh, you really never had anything to worry about, Josh.” Sophie shook her head. “Even if Tamara DID stick with wanting to vote her out it’s not like any of us would have gone through with it.”

“Yeah, it would have been pretty stupid to vote out someone who helped out so much in challenges for you guys pre-merge.” Slippy supplied.

“…Lightning literally idoled our strongest player a full week before we merged.” Joshua said flatly.

“There was also only ONE Lightning and WE had him.” Slippy retorted.

“…Yeah, I guess Zera’s chances would have been worse if she was on a team with Lightning instead of me.”

“I didn’t mind Zera. I mean, Krista and I formed a bit of a temporary alliance with her after the swap until she realized that Krista and I were too close.” Sophie added. “I didn’t like having to turn our backs on her like that, but she kind of did it first so it was more in retaliation and out of necessity.”

“She definitely seemed like a cutthroat player, that’s for sure.” Slippy noted.

“She was more someone who knew what she wanted and tried her hardest to get it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.” Joshua shrugged. “But when it didn’t she made sure to let us ALL know.”

“Sort of like you, don’t you think?” Sophie smirked. “Maybe that’s why you guys got along like you did.”

“Eh, touché.”

“I made it a good way into the game and I feel like I made enough of an impact in the long run, yeah. I just wish it could have been enough to get me to the end, but it looks like we made the mistake of depending on someone you can’t really depend on.” Zera lamented. “Eh, I’m mostly over my elimination by now, but I still can’t help but lay awake at night and wonder how things could have changed in the game if I stuck around longer than I did…”

Rosalyn’s picture was next, and the brown-haired mayor’s picture was giving a kind smile as the finalists approached her picture. It looked like everyone had some fond memories of Rosalyn from the looks on their faces.

“I miss Rosalyn. She was level-headed and dependable, despite the fact that, even after all this time, I feel like she had no idea what she was in for when she signed on to come here in the first place.” Slippy noted.

“I know. Even now I still find it hard to believe that she’s genuinely made it this far in life without lying.” Joshua shook his head.

“Well, when you consider where she’s from…” Sophie reasoned. “I mean, I guess it’d make sense.”

“Still, how do you come on Survivor, of all things, and not expect to lie about gameplay and motives?” Joshua asked. “Rosalyn took it WAY too personally when my side tricked hers and voted out Kamek.”

“I think it was more because she was realizing how it felt to deceive someone and she didn’t like it.” Slippy replied casually. “I mean, being lied to can hurt in a game like this, and when it happened to her it just made her feel even-more guilty about lying to other people.”

“I didn’t really share a tribe with her until the merge, but from when I saw of her I liked her.” Sophie pointed out. “Krista and I did a bit of interrogation on Rosalyn after we merged because there were just so many questions we wanted to ask her.”

“Like what? Rosalyn’s just a mayor.” Slippy said. “A mayor of a peaceful, childishly-innocent town.”

“Wait. You never heard the stories? Schoolmaster on a private island? Secret agent? Fighter pilot?” Sophie asked. “Yeesh, EA’s memory-erasing must be affecting ALL game companies…”

Slippy blinked. “…What the heck are you talking about?” He asked.

“I came into this game with high hopes and expectations…And in the end I did a LOT of things that I regret, looking back on it. I know I’ve been told that lying is natural and accepted in Survivor but it did little to make me feel better about myself.” Rosalyn explained. “On one hand, I enjoyed the experience, but on the other I’ll be glad to get back to my home town and put this game behind me once and for all…”

Sophie gave a sigh as the final three approached Krista’s picture. The pink, blonde hedgehog’s picture was giving a bright, cheery smile, showing that she was always excited to start the game.

“I miss Krista more than anything. We clicked instantly became fast, best friends and we got each other out of more scrapes than either of us care to count.” Sophie shook her head.

“Which, again, is why you two were such big threats since you were still together at the final five.” Joshua reminded.

“I’m still surprised that you guys were able to make it that far together at all. What took the target away from you guys?” Slippy asked.

“A bit of everything, really, and by the time Zera and Tamara joined forces against us we didn’t go back to council until the merge.” Sophie admitted. “But all in all, Krista and I told each other we’d get as far into the game as we could together and I think we did a great job at that.”

Joshua gave a shrug. “Yeah. Final five is pretty good, I’ll admit.” He said. “That said, I just couldn’t picture myself getting along with Krista for very long. She was way too energetic and was bouncing off the walls all the time.”

“Sophie was, too.” Slippy piped up.

“Yeah, but I think Krista had just a bit more energy in the long run.”

“No argument here. The only thing I’m frustrated about is that, when Kamek gave the two of us magic lessons, Krista managed to get further along than I did because apparently her species can use magic better than humans can or something.” Sophie explained.

“I can see why Kamek liked teaching you girls, though. From what I saw Krista was nice.” Slippy noted.

“She was. My total bestie.” Sophie nodded. “I’m doing this for her as well, now.”

“I had a complete blast in the game and I made it all the way to the final five with my best friend. I don’t regret anything I did in the game, even the stuff that may have made Sophie and I look like we enjoyed being the power players.” Krista explained. “Any change in gameplay may have caused me to get cut a lot earlier, and even now I think that I don’t think I could have gotten any better than the placement I got. Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed for Sophie…”

The last picture sticking out of the water was that of a very-familiar, one-eyed, one-eared, purple-skinned being dressed in a construction outfit. The finalists approached Drillbit’s picture with a varying mix of reactions.

“Drillbit was a real pain and caused me nothing but headaches since the start, but even after voting him out I still can’t really feel that satisfied.” Slippy said.

“Because Drillbit wasn’t actively trying to be the villain and legitimately held no hard feelings or ill will towards anyone?” Joshua checked.

“Yeah, that was probably it. I would have felt a lot more-satisfied with myself if Drillbit was a legitimately-villainous person.” Slippy scratched his head.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Slip. It’s as you said: He caused you a lot of headaches. I mean, he caused problems for everyone but you seemed to get it the worst.” Sophie supplied.

“I know. Part of me should feel glad that I managed to play a part in bringing down the big villain of the season but in the end I don’t know if it would feel right since Drillbit really had no intention of playing the villain. It’s just how he chose to play the game to keep himself from getting bored.”

“Drillbit was the season villain because his method of playing was dangerous for everyone in the game. I found it out the hard way when he decided to burn the entire alliance I had with him just because he felt he was getting too easy of a ride.” Joshua folded his arms. “Anyone who purposefully destroys the games of everyone else just for the sake of his own entertainment takes the role of villain.”

Sophie tilted her head. “But he said himself that he didn’t really care what happened with the rest of us. All he was focused on was keeping things interesting for him.” She reminded. “Yes, Drillbit destroyed your alliance, but it was truly out of no hard feelings to you, Zera OR Tamara.”

“Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better.” Joshua rolled his eyes.

“Still, at least we can all agree that he at the very least made things interesting.” Sophie admitted. “He kept all of us on our toes and it took a lot of effort to finally get him out. Even he said that he had a good time fighting with his back against the wall.”

“That may be, but I’m personally glad that Drillbit and I at least buried the hatchet before he was voted out. It was a long time coming, but at least he seemed to acknowledge that he caused me in particular a lot of headaches.” Slippy said.

“Maybe he knew he was going and wanted to leave on a high note.” Joshua shrugged.

“He would have left on a high note for himself anyway with how much fun he had.” Slippy mused. “So why try to mend bridges with me before that?”

“This game was a lot of fun, there’s no doubt in that. I don’t have any regrets about my game or how I played because my focal point was always to make the experience more-interesting for me. I’ve created a lot of personal memories in this game. Probably enough for a lifetime.” Drillbit said contently. “I mean, I have a lot of fun back home doing what I do on the go-kart track, but to experience this game in all its entirety and have a blast doing it? Ah, that just felt amazing.”

The final three passed Drillbit’s picture and continued rowing down the river, noticing that just after Drillbit’s picture the river opened up into a large basin, where the finalists saw the host standing on the shore, where the final challenge would take place…
Survivor CH8: Day 38 Part 1
The finale of this season's Central Hub continues.

I don't know why but for some reason it feels like the Rites of Passage segment gets longer and longer with each season...
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  • Listening to: JT Machinima
  • Reading: Central Hub
  • Watching: Amazing Race Canada
  • Playing: Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition
It's been a long, long time coming, but the eighth season of Central Hub has finally wrapped up and a winner has been decided. This season has by far gone through the most changes of anything I've written, largely because my original plans for the season would have ended much differently than how they ended up, and I realized that I would have hated the result that I was originally going to have, which is why I went on the hiatus in the first place until I got some creativity going. I'm pleased with where the season went for the most part, and the light-hearted, more-comedic take on the season is something that I personally really enjoyed doing and something I'm going to try doing in the future. Thanks for sticking with me for this long and putting up with the delays, and I hope that this season was worth it in the end. Let's break a few things down then...

Sophie, the Winner...

When I originally cast Sophie back pre-hiatus, I was originally going to have her leave around the family visit. When I cast her and Krista together, I knew they'd be best friends, but one of the first things I thought about with them was "which one is going to get cut first?". Krista was originally going to be a pre-merge boot and Sophie would go around the family visit like the energetic characters tend to. That said, I went on the hiatus and things got put on hold. Funnily enough, Sophie and Krista were the biggest things that got the creativity going and gave me the inspiration to turn the season around.

I suddenly got an idea that I've yet to really see: What would happen if I were to give CPN undertones to the FUN-LOVERS? Without taking away from their fun-loving, energetic characters that were there to have a good time, Sophie and Krista were thrown into power positions, and showed that they would do whatever it took to make sure that they both made it through the day. This, in the end, gave them a bit of a villain edit that neither of them really wanted, and without really changing them into malevolent characters since, like Drillbit, there was no ill will towards anyone: They were just there to have a good time, and would do anything to make sure that they got each other through the vote.

I'll admit that Sophie and Krista seemed very similar aside from some personality differences, but there was a reason for that. Up until the middle of my writing the season, the final two was originally going to be Sophie and Krista, with Sophie still winning. I was purposefully trying to give the two of them somewhat-similar edits, making sure that they had the same number of confessionals and everything, because it was originally going to come down to the two of them in the end, with people not knowing who to vote for because they played the same game (because they played it together). I realized that I had a few problems with this as I was writing because I found that I wasn't differentiating the two girls as much as I would have liked. I guarantee that if I had managed to separate the girls into their own characters more, they would have gone to the end together, though.

What made Sophie stand out from Krista, and why it was always going to be her doing better, was her characterization. Krista's application was portraying her as the usual energetic, friendly girl, but Sophie had the mystery-loving side of her that made her a fan of the paranormal and weird. Yeah, it's a bit nitpicky, but I found I was able to get more out of Sophie in the long run because of it. Sophie winning is something I'm still satisfied with, because she's definitely not a hero winner like about half the winners I've had before, and is a bit of a new take on a "villain" win. She's not quite a villain, but she's still shown that she's willing to play others, albeit in her own way, solely so that she and her best friend could make it through the day.

Joshua, the Runner-Up...

I'll be the first to admit that I actually really liked writing for Joshua. Pre-hiatus he was originally just going to be a sarcastic foil to Zera that knew a lot about the game. I didn't really have much else to go on, but I knew he'd be a big character for the season when I got the app. Here's where the dilemma was: Pre-hiatus, my winner pick was between Joshua and Zera. As I started writing I realized that this was going to be a painfully-predictable win because the two of them were surrounded by quirky characters that, by any logical means, would have no place in the finals. I ran out of creativity at that point and I went on the hiatus because I was trying to find a way to make people interesting, and I was setting more than a couple characters up to become nothing but strategybots.

Coming out of the hiatus, I actually have Vilecheese to thank for Joshua's fanboy personality. Yes, Joshua was a lot more over-the-top in Vile's comic, but it gave me something to work on and it made him a lot more-fun to write for. At least with him talking about edgics and edits he was trying to talk strategy without coming off as boring, and I felt I was able to balance out his sarcastic side with his fanboy side well enough, even combining the two sides into a semi-Jacqueline for the fans at times. I had him go through comedic misfortune a bit with Larry, the dynamite boxes and the wolf mutant because with me taking a cartoony approach to the season I could have the cast get bounced around a bit without injury, and Joshua's antics ironically made him funnier to write for in the long run.

Here's where we get to my take on Joshua: I'd had superfans on the series before. When you see a superfan in something like this, they're usually either really good at the game and know the ins and outs of almost everything, or they become a tryhard that crashes and burns within two or three episodes. I knew Joshua was always going to be a long-term character, so to make his character a bit more-interesting, I decided to make it so that the new environment, with the unpredictable island and everything, would turn everything a superfan thought he knew about the game on its head. Joshua tried to make a big move way too early, got blindsided a few times pre-merge that cost him all his allies (and by Lightning, of all people), made the mistake of trusting the unpredictable villain of the season, and wasn't able to find a single idol in the entire game. I wanted to show that, sometimes, being real knowledgeable in Survivor doesn't prepare you for the real thing, and if you go in thinking you know all the tricks and secrets that the series has to offer, you're going to get more than a few surprises.

Now, I'm not saying I cast Joshua solely to turn the superfan-storyline around a bit, because I honestly really enjoyed writing for him and I loved what he brought to the season. Joshua does know Survivor, and in a traditional season he probably would have done very well. But with this season being as unpredictable as it was, Joshua was taken by surprise and it caused him to trip up more than once. I hope I made Joshua an enjoyable character because the season definitely wouldn't have been the same without him.

The Yasmin Vote...

Here's what I think was my biggest mistake of the season: Yasmin going home in the way that she did. Yasmin was always the second boot because, no matter how much I tried she was never really destined to be much more than an early boot, but it was the vote that eliminated her that I feel is my one big regret.

I didn't realize what a good position Yasmin was in at the start of the game until I was halfway done episode two. There was no logical way Yasmin would get eliminated unless her alliance's vote was split, and I had already written too much to go back and edit the entire first episode. Originally, Sophie and Krista were going to trick Joshua and Perky into giving their votes to Diego rather than it being Joshua's fanboy self wanting to make a move. However, I realized that doing that would not only draw too much attention to the girls way too early, but it would go against their tendencies to play the villains UNWITTINGLY. Plus I really didn't see a way Joshua would logically fall for something like that and not consult Zera first. Because of that, it was changed around to Joshua being responsible for the vote going the way it did, but it still left me with a vote I wasn't really satisfied with.

If I were to redo the first two episodes, I would have put off Zera and Joshua joining forces until after Yasmin was voted off normally. It would have just been Zera and Yasmin as a duo and Joshua and Perky as another duo rather than the four of them together. Like I said, how the vote turned out was kind of the big mistake of the season for me...

The Canons...

I loved writing for these canons again, no matter how long or short they were around for. I know that it's a bit of an unconventional take on the whole "Fans vs. Canons" thing, but I've gone over my opinions on the regular take on that twist in a previous journal of mine and I don't want to bore people with the details again. Let me just say that any canon twist used in this series will just be a random group of canons unrelated to the applicants because at least then I would know how to write for them all and no one would get screwed over just because of a canon representative.

First let's quickly go over some of the canons that I didn't even bother looking at to come on and why I didn't pick them...
- Characters like Slimer, the Rabbid, Mumbles and Muttley were passed over because they would be impossible to write for long-term.
- Characters like Dom Cobb, Jimmy Neutron and the Fallout Raider were passed over because I considered them too boring to be actual contestants or I had no idea how to write for them.
- Psymon was unfortunately passed over because Drillbit was a lock. I totally would have cast Psymon if not for Drillbit.
- Ayame was passed over because I already had Krista and Sophie. Three of them would be pushing it, even by my standards.

I'm fine with my selection, and to be honest, most of the canons were locks from the start. I had my first boot (Lammy), the early villains that hide the real villain (Beldam and Lightning), the unconventional villain (Drillbit), the eccentric (Jacqueline), and two canons that I really just wanted to write for again after so long (Kamek and Rosalyn). Slippy and Trilby were the last ones I cast and the only ones whose roles I hadn't nailed down yet. I knew I wanted a surprise blindside from a smart player (Trilby) and a surprise hero to counter the surprise villain (Slippy), but I still had to narrow down the cast.

Other options I had instead of Trilby were Sgt. Cortez (Timesplitters), Sasha Nein (Psychonauts) and Sam (Sam & Max). However, I needed someone who could rival Beldam early on and be able to sense her evilness. Cortez and Sam logically wouldn't be able to "sense" evil even though they fight the paranormal all the time, though Sasha could have made for an interesting substitute for Trilby due to his complete deadpan and emotionless responses to everything in addition to the psychic powers. However, I wanted to use Trilby more and I felt that he would logically be the biggest opposition to Beldam because he's literally experienced and gone against Eldritch horrors like her on more than one occasion.

Now for Slippy. The only other one I was considering for the slot was indeed Wallace (Wallace & Grommit), because they both fit the slot I was looking for: The eccentric, genius inventor that sees Drillbit as the threat he is and tries to go against him, but no one takes them seriously because of their eccentrics. It's actually kind of scary how easily I could have fit Wallace into Slippy's role, to be honest. That said, if I included Wallace it would more-than-likely be a homage to his late voice actor, I finalized the cast before he passed away, and I just wanted to write for Slippy more in the end.

Next Season

Keep your eyes peeled for an updated application form in a journal in the near future. I haven't done any casting yet, but I have some ideas for season twists and I want to make sure that the season doesn't disappoint. Regardless, it'll be a ways away because, now that this season's in the bag, I can focus on other projects, at least for now, while I do planning on the side. I know I want a cast of 20 again, but that's the only definitive. =P

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SSBFreak
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:icontinyhammer:
Tinyhammer Featured By Owner May 27, 2018
Well, well, well. Who says that you can't have Character Development in fighting games? www.youtube.com/watch?time_con…
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:iconssbfreak:
SSBFreak Featured By Owner May 27, 2018
I guess I'm more-surprised that they canonized his last name as "Travers", his last name from the poorly-received "Streetwise" game.

That said, it's good to see Cody again and that he's getting some development. Still haven't played SF5, though.
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:iconthe-fanartist1:
Hello There. How Are You Doing Today?
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:iconcallmeknuckles:
hey I know you haven’t written one in 3 years but is it ok if I write my own version of Wario VS Knuckles?
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:iconssbfreak:
SSBFreak Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2017
Go right ahead. I've stepped away from Death Battle in favour of One Minute Melee, anyway. :)
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:iconcallmeknuckles:
CallMeKnuckles Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2017
Alright. Thanks!
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:iconcrazy9219:
cRaZy9219 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2017
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! OMG YAAAASSSSS!
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:iconssbfreak:
SSBFreak Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2017
Thank you. :)
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:icontinyhammer:
Tinyhammer Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2017
Happy birthday! :D
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:iconssbfreak:
SSBFreak Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2017
Thanks, man. :)
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