Sixteen castaways are about to begin an adventure of a lifetime. For thirty nine days, they will be stranded on the islands of Dewford with a minimal of protection and assistance against the harsh environment. They must work together to find food and build shelter while competing against each other for one million dollars. Every three days, there will be a tribal council meeting, where one contestant will be voted off the island. One person will outwit, outplay, and outlast fifteen others. Who is the Sole Survivor?
Gorebyss: CASEY - CASSIDY - DELIA - MAY - MIMI - RIKA - SUZIE - ZOE
Huntail: BROCK - BUTCH - DREW - JAMES- JP - TAKATO - TAKUYA - TK
A young bearded man stood barefoot in the sand, gazing dreamily ahead at the endless stretches of water. Occasionally a flock of Spheal, the bubbly and round seal Pokemon, could be seen riding merrily along the gentle ocean waves. The sun was positioned high above in the blue cloudless sky, sending warm rays of sunshine upon the beach. This was one of the many deserted islands of Dewford, surrounded by large bodies of water, heavy forests, and hidden caves. This would be the place where sixteen castaways will live in for the next thirty nine days.
Professor Birch had always been an outdoorsy guy, and his love for nature was the significant trait that separated him from his other book smart colleagues. Naturally, he was the perfect candidate when asked to host the hit reality TV show Survivor. This survival game would take place in the isolated Dewford Islands, rich in wildlife and pleasant in weather. Professor Birch will take part in hosting many upcoming challenges, moderating intense tribal councils, and snuffing all the players' torches except one. Only the eventual winner will have the torch with a flame that lives eternally.
Far away from any civilisation and stripped of all urban technology, these sixteen castaways must learn to adapt to the environment as well as each other. Every three days, a tribal council will be held where one castaway is exiled from the islands. On the thirty ninth day, it is the responsibility for a jury of seven to crown a deserving winner, who will receive the grand prize of one million dollars.
That person will be labeled as the Sole Survivor…
- - -
Takato Matsuki held an oar in his clumsy hands, but he had no idea what to do.
Here he was on a boat with seven strangers in the middle of Dewford Ocean, and he was already struggling with the harsh survival aspects of the game.
This wasn't good.
Sheepishly, he dipped his oar into the water and tried his best to move it in a rotation. It was a poor imitation of what the tanned man beside him was doing. Takato studied him carefully. That man was using his muscular hands to move the oar with an utmost ease, looking as if he had been doing this for years. What was his name again? Takato thought to himself. Brad? Ben? Brock?
"Eek!" Takato cried. He had raised his oar too high and accidentally hit the man sitting in front of him. The green haired man turned towards him with an angry scowl.
"Watch what you're doing with the oar, kid! You're going to kill someone with that!" He angrily snapped at Takato. Takato mumbled a quick apology, not wanting to make any enemies on the first day of the game. But the man just scoffed and turned around.
Takato certainly remembered his name. He was Butch, a member of the infamous criminal gang Team Rocket. How a shady character like Butch got on the show was the big mystery hovering in everybody's minds.
"We've almost reached the shore. Good job, guys!" Brock exclaimed, flashing a loose grin to his tribe members. With his squinty eyes, he could make out the vague outlines of an island in front of them.
"Oh yeah, this is going to be awesome!" Takuya added energetically. He exchanged a high-five with Brock. "Look, I can see Professor Birch standing right there!"
The boat drew closer to the beach, slowing down until it hit the sand. Takuya Kanbara was the first to leap out of the boat and made a perfect landing with both of his feet firmly in the sand. His outfit consisted of a sporty t-shirt and beige shorts, accompanied by a pair of goggles around his forehead. (Takato was equipped with a similar pair of goggles too, but Takuya would be the first to say that his goggles were simply cooler). Young and enthusiastic, his dynamic personality easily made him stand out from the rest of the tribe.
But even though his tribe members barely knew him, his personality was already coming on too strong for some of their liking.
Drew: When I first saw Takuya, I knew he wasn't the smartest apple in the tree. He's just your typical frat boy leader who thinks with his gut and not with his brain. Right off the bet, I've already marked him as a harmless non-threat to my strategy.
As he gave his video confessional, a smug smirk slowly spread across his face. He clearly enjoyed what he was about to say next.
Drew: Mark my words, all of you. Takuya Kanbara won't win this game.
Following after Takuya, James was the next person off the boat. A few strands of his long blue hair covered his prince-like face, but he brushed them aside, revealing a pair of enigmatic green eyes. He quietly got out of the boat, leaving behind the men without making too big of a fuss. He walked past Takuya without saying anything to him.
Another Team Rocket member in this game was Butch, who still carried a displeased scowl on his face. He took his hand to rub the back of his head, which still hurt after being struck by the clumsy Takato. It was a heavy blow to his skull, but it probably wouldn't hurt so badly if only Butch had seen it coming. The tall and lanky man didn't hide his dissatisfaction for Takato as he shot a spiteful glare at the little boy before he left the boat.
JP was the next person to depart. His chunky frame was still evident even under the baggy blue jumpsuit that he wore. His lack of physical fitness looked unfavourable when compared to the rest of the slim and athletic tribe members, but JP would later joke that he would lose all his fat in the next thirty nine days. He immediately ran over to join his Frontier friend Takuya in their hike up the beach.
Takato jumped off the boat next, but fell awkwardly in the water and landed on his bum. He groaned. Today simply wasn't his day. He could already hear the cruel snickering from some of the men on the beach. A hand from the boat reached out to help the petite boy get up from the shallow water. Takato was not injured, but his brown khaki pants were wet up to his belt buckle.
"Thanks," said Takato, smiling sheepishly at the blonde in the white floppy hat. He paused, scanning the man's face. "Hey, you look familiar."
"Oh, I get that a lot," he laughed.
Nobody recognized who he was yet, but TK Takaishi had already appeared on reality television before. His older brother, Matt Ishida, was a contestant on The Mole. And just like his brother, TK was blessed with a handsome face and an athletic body. He looked like he belonged more on a model's catalogue than on a stranded island. Already, some men were throwing him a few jealous glances, but TK was in good spirits nevertheless. Falling slightly behind from the rest of his tribe, TK ran quickly to catch up with them.
Drew also stepped out of the boat, smiling. His head was poised high to the sky, as he let his emerald green hair fall behind his shoulders. He ran his hand through his hair, performing one of his trademark hair flips. That and his vivid purple jacket drew a lot of amused looks from the men on his tribe, but Drew seemed too comfortable with himself to care what they thought about him.
And last to leave the boat was Brock, the Pokemon Breeder from Pewter City. He looked at his tribe, frowning.
It was a tribe of eight men. There was not a single woman anywhere in sight.
And that didn't sit well with Brock.
Brock: I'm really cheesed that there isn't a single woman on our tribe! What an awful way to begin this game. I was hoping to use my sex appeal to allure the ladies and form an alliance with them, because I know they wouldn't be able to resist a piece of me.
Amazingly enough, the sarcastic Pokemon Breeder was able to keep a straight face saying all of this.
Brock: Seriously though, having all the men in one tribe is horrible. There's going to be a lot of egos clashing, that's for sure.
"Where are all the girls? I want some hot chicks on my tribe!" Brock complained jokingly. Walking beside him, Drew offered him a sympathetic smile.
"If it's a battle of the sexes, then this is going to turn into one messed up testosterone tribe," added Drew, grinning.
"More like a gigantic sausage fest," laughed Brock.
- - -
"Welcome to Dewford Island." Professor Birch said, smiling warmly at the eight men standing in front of him. They were standing on a blue mat and behind them was a matching coloured flag.
"Since you're the first tribe to arrive, you have the opportunity to select which tribe you're on." He pulled out two buffs from his long laboratory jacket - one is navy blue, the other is crimson red. Both buffs have a huge Survivor logo printed on it.
"You can be the Gorebyss tribe, who will always wear red…"
Professor Birch raised his left hand, waving the red buff in the air.
"Or you could be the Huntail tribe, who will always wear blue."
As he held up the blue buff, some of the men were nodding their heads in consent. It seemed as though they already knew which tribe they wanted to be.
"It has to be blue. Look at those blue buffs! They're so kickass!" Takuya flashed a boyish grin to his tribe members.
"Yeah, I'm a big fan of blue." JP chuckled, pointing his thumb to himself. "I look good in blue."
"We're going to be the Huntail tribe then!" Takuya shouted excitedly. As a quick afterthought, he turned to his tribe members. "Is everybody okay with it?"
For the most part, nobody had any objections with this decision. Or even if they had, nobody was speaking up. Drew had a mildly amused expression on his face, but he did not say anything. Only TK looked somewhat bothered by this, as indicated by him biting his lips, an annoying childhood habit he couldn't rid of.
TK: Takuya is the self-appointed leader of the Huntail tribe. He really isn't, but he acts like he is. When we were choosing tribes, he pretty much made the decision without consulting any of us. I believe in democracy, but Takuya - he's more of a dictator.
"Huntail, each of you, please take a buff." Professor Birch announced, tossing a blue buff to each man.
Takuya grinned when he received his buff. Underneath the colourful Survivor logo, the word 'Huntail' was printed in black bolded letters. Some of the men were wrapping their buffs around their heads like a bandana. After thinking about it for a while, Takuya decided to tie it tightly to his right bicep.
"The girls are coming," said Brock happily, pointing his finger at the sea. Sure enough, there was another boat arriving on shore.
The women began arriving one by one. They marched up to the beach where Professor Birch and the men were waiting for them.
First to arrive was Suzie Wong, a short girl wearing a hot pink outfit from top to bottom. She happened to be the youngest Survivor in this game, but she also had the biggest and most enthusiastic smile out of everyone. It was a toothy grin that contained so much warmth and innocence, whick even prompted several of the men to smile as well. Suzie waved to Professor Birch, who tossed her a red buff. She clumsily missed the catch and dropped the buff on the ground.
"Welcome to the island, Suzie. You're part of the Gorebyss tribe," said the professor.
"Thank you very much!" She said earnestly, in a voice as sweet as can be.
Rika Nonaka picked up the red buff that was on the ground, returning it back to Suzie. With her auburn brown ponytail and icy blue eyes, she would've looked physically attractive if it wasn't for the disapproving frown on her face. To the men, she looked like an intimidating competitor with her stern and surly face. A careful observer would know that this was Rika's game face. Nobody would be able to read her face, and nobody would be able to figure out what she was thinking about.
Leading the rest of the women was Cassidy, the third and final Team Rocket member in this game. She walked with a confident stride and wore a smug smile on her angular face. One look at Cassidy and everybody knew that she carried herself in a manner that exerted self-confidence. She showed off her beautiful thighs in a pair of black shorts shorts, which provoked a disapproving scowl from Rika.
Zoe Orimoto was after Cassidy. As soon as the blonde bombshell arrived on the beach, most of the men couldn't peel their eyes away from her. They were already mesmerized by her stunning beauty. There was no other way to describe her - Zoe Orimoto was gorgeous. As she walked towards Professor Birch, Brock whistled, later joined in by several other men. She responded with a modest smile, but not once did she cast a glance at any of the men.
What they didn't know was that Zoe had a completely different perspective on the men.
Zoe: I was a little upset that the men arrived on the island before us. If any of the men underestimate us women, they're going to have another thing coming at them. They're not going to walk all over us like they think they will.
Zoe grinned to the cameras, brushing a lock of golden hair away from her vivacious green eyes. She pumped her fist triumphantly in the air as her cheerleading background emerged out.
Zoe: We're going to be strong, we're going to get along, and we're going to prove them all wrong!
Following after the blonde was Delia Ketchum. Professor Birch flashed a small smile at the single mother of one, who was also the oldest contestant in the game. She was dressed in outdoorsy clothing and her hair was tied in a long modest ponytail. She appeared very youthful and even somewhat attractive for somebody her age. However, Professor Birch couldn't help but notice that Delia looked unnaturally paler than the average healthy person. Perhaps the rocky and uncomfortable boat ride fazed her.
The next person was somebody who Professor Birch immediately recognized. Her name was May, a perky brunette with big blue eyes. She was an accomplished Pokemon Coordinator, but also the daughter of the famous and prestigious gym leader Norman. As May walked up the beach by herself, she eyed the men with interest, until her eyes met with Brock's.
Hey, Brock! May mouthed the words excitedly to her long-time friend.
Brock acknowledged her presence with a nod, although he was trying to act discreet. Butch raised an eyebrow, his narrow eyes suspiciously followed May until she joined her tribe members.
Last to arrive was Casey, who looked a bit eccentric in her white Electabuzz team baseball cap. Her grin was slightly lopsided and there was a cute dimple on her left cheek every time she smiled. Despite her oddity, the short and petite girl went unnoticed by most of the men. Professor Birch threw the final buff to Casey, which she caught perfectly with her left hand. Casey then joined the rest of the ladies on the red mat, completing the Gorebyss tribe.
"Huntail, your tribe is on the left side of this island. Gorebyss, your tribe is on the right side of the island." Professor Birch gestured the directions with his hands, while Mimi shuddered at the thought of walking through the dense and frightening forest. "It's a four mile hike from here and all your needed supplies are waiting for you at camp." He smiled at the sixteen castaways. "It's going to get dark soon, so you'll want to find your camp as quickly as possible. There are a lot of dangerous Pokemon in the forest during night."
Cassidy smiled, thrusting her chest forward confidently. Gorebyss: a tribe of eight women. No problem, she thought to herself. She could manipulate women easily. Not as well as the men of course, but well enough to have total control over each and every one of them. She took a pitiful glance at the smiling Suzie, already mentally marking her as the first woman voted off of her tribe.
But what Cassidy didn't prepare for was that the tribes weren't going to stay the same. Contrary to what the contestants believed, it wasn't going to be a battle of the sexes. It wasn't going to be men versus women. It wasn't going to be as easy as they'd like to believe.
And suddenly, Cassidy's strategy faced its first wrench.
- - -
All sixteen castaways were ready to begin their adventures of a lifetime.
"Just one more thing before you leave…" Professor Birch said this with a coy smile. Some players immediately became suspicious with the professor's stalling.
"You're going to give us our maps?" Brock hopefully suggested.
"Actually, I need one person from each tribe who thinks they're natural leaders," said Professor Birch. He was grinning now. "They'll play a major factor in two of the game's twists, so choose wisely."
Drew: When Professor Birch said that he needed a natural leader from our tribe, I knew instantly what was going on. Of course, it took a while before some of the...less intelligent tribe members figured it out.
"What's going on?" James whispered, frantically scanning the blank expressions on his tribe members' faces.
Nobody was able to reply James. The men stood in stunned silence, surprised to have a sudden obstacle thrown in their game this early. They barely knew each other's names!
"Somebody needs to volunteer," said Brock finally, stating the obvious.
Again, nobody dared to speak. Butch looked away and whistled innocently, while JP shoved his hands in his pockets, hoping not to bring unnecessary attention upon himself. Judging from the evasive gestures of everyone, it was clear that none of the men wanted to volunteer for the position.
For a brief second, it looked as if Takato wanted to raise his hand. But then he caught the eye of his friend, Rika Nonaka, from the opposing tribe. She was desperately trying to mouth a message to him without being too obvious. Takato squinted, struggling to decode the message.
"No, don't go." Rika silently mouthed to him.
Her intense eyes locked with his, making sure that he knew she was being very serious about this. Why she didn't want him to volunteer, he didn't understand. But the obedient Takato responded back by giving a quick nod of the head.
"I'll be the leader if nobody wants to volunteer." Takuya said at last, looking up at his nervous tribe members for their reactions.
As if Takuya said the magic words, the awkward silence was immediately broken and a ripple of words came out of everybody's mouths at once. Essentially, they were all saying the same thing, that they were more than happy Takuya had put himself up as the scapegoat. It was soon agreed in a unanimous decision that he should be the leader.
Takuya: I could tell that everybody was clamming up because they were cowards. But I'm not somebody who could easily pass down a leadership position. Who knows, it could be quite fun.
The women of Gorebyss were facing the same dilemma as the men. They were just as nervous about the given circumstances and it was soon clear that there would be no volunteers from this tribe. Nobody wanted to be put into the position of leadership this early. Nobody wanted to be the leader - the target. The two words were almost interchangeable at this point, because with leadership came along with a big target on the leader's back.
"Wow!" Mimi squealed, sounding a bit nervous. "Umm…so what's happening?"
"It must be some type of twist," said Rika, with both her hands on her hips. "One of us needs to go see Professor Birch. Anyone wants to volunteer?"
As expected, no hands were raised. All of the women exchanged hasty glances at each other, unsure how to respond.
Mimi: The 'volunteer to be a leader' thing really threw all of us in a loop! I mean, if Professor Birch didn't mention there were going to be two twists involved, it wouldn't have sounded so horrible. I know I didn't want to volunteer, because being a leader this early would be a totally stupid decision.
"Let's draw sticks," suggested Cassidy. "It's only fair that way."
"Great idea," agreed Delia, nodding her head.
Very quickly, the women gathered eight branches of various lengths. It was determined that the person who drew the shortest stick will have to take on the much feared role of leadership. Mimi stared fearfully at the eight pieces of sticks in Cassidy's hand. She definitely didn't want to be the one who had to participate in the numerous twists.
One by one, the women each drew a stick from Cassidy's hand. When all eight of them had one, they cautiously compared lengths with each other. It was evident after a while that May had the shortest tree branch. Mimi and several other women sighed in relief, happy that luck was on their side for the draw.
"I guess it's me." May smiled uncertainly. She took a deep breath and walked up to Professor Birch, joined quickly by Takuya from the Huntail tribe.
"Takuya and May, you've volunteered to be the leaders of your respective tribes." Professor Birch began.
May smiled nervously at the professor. She hoped nobody would notice that her knees were trembling with fear.
"What's going to happen now is very simple…" The professor smiled. "The two of you..." He gestured his hands to the two leaders, "The two of you are going to switch tribes. Takuya, you'll be leading the Gorebyss tribe. May, you'll be leading the Huntail tribe. Please switch buffs."
A few gasps escaped from several of the castaway's mouths, May included. Takuya removed the blue buff from his bicep, handing it over to May. She nervously smiled, exchanging it with the red buff in her hand. He put it around his right bicep, exactly where his Huntail buff used to be thirty seconds ago.
"This means I'm going to be on a tribe with seven women." Takuya laughed. "That's pretty crazy, man!"
"It's fantastic news for Huntail though!" Brock grinned, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. "Our tribe needs a woman's touch."
May: I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous when I was up there. I didn't know what was going on at all! For a second there, I thought the professor was just going to vote me off right on the spot!
"Here are your maps to you rnew camps." Professor Birch handed a map to each leader. "The locations of your campsites should be pretty straight forward."
Takuya smiled confidently as he took the map from the professor. He didn't even notice that he was holding it upside down.
"This is the first twist in our game." Professor Birch slyly paused, lingering the suspense of his next sentence. "And if either of you managed to survive to Day 13, you'll partake in the second twist of this game." He smiled, patting both of them on their shoulders. "Trust me…it's going to be a big one."
May raised her eyebrows in interest. There was going to be a second twist if she managed to stay until Day 13 on her new tribe. But she had too many other things going on in her mind to worry about the thirteenth day. She'd rather focus on the game one day at a time.
"That's it. I have nothing else for you now." Professor Birch smiled earnestly. "Have a safe trip."
With that, the two newly formed tribes departed in opposite directions, heading off to their campsites before the sun sets. Takuya looked particularly confident as he led the Gorebyss tribe to the east, holding the crimson red flag high in the air. May, on the other hand, did not seem to share the same enthusiasm.
May: It's just my luck that I was stuck with the short end of the stick. I…uh…I am now on a tribe with seven men. Oh my god, you won't understand how awkward camp life is going to be. And if the men really wanted to, they could easily gang up to vote me out just because I'm a girl. I may not survive on my new tribe.
She paused in the middle of her confessional, clenching her fist tightly. There was a navy blue buff wrapped around her right wrist.
May: But you know what, I'm not going to give up. It's not the end of the world. It's just the first day of the game and I'm on a new tribe. I'm just going have to work extra hard to prove to them that I'm as strong in the challenges as the men. I won't let any of them look down on me.
May glanced at the buff on her wrist. She could read the word HUNTAIL written in big bolded letters.
Huntail. May smiled in satisfaction. Huntail was her tribe now.
- - -
Butch was walking in front of everybody else in his tribe - the position that he believed the leader should always be in - and guided his tribe through the forest, with the map in his hands. Supposedly, he was taking them in the right direction of the camp, but nobody would know for sure since Butch refused to share his map with anybody. ("Those incompetent fools wouldn't be able to navigate their ways out of a paperbag", he snickered). Several times, Brock had tried to investigate on their exact location, only to be turned down angrily by Butch, who claimed that he knew where they were going.
Because even though May was appointed as the leader of Huntail tribe, it was clear that she had absolutely no zero control over a tribe that was packed with testosterone. Butch would explain in a confessional that May was just too passive to be the leader, but it was clear from his dismissive tone and expression that the Team Rocket member didn't respect her at all. In his eyes, May was simply just a girl. Butch didn't have high hopes for her abilities.
No, in a tribe that was oozing with macho testosterone, the role of leadership would have to fall on a man. Huntail needed an efficient leader who could make assertive decisions and navigate their tribe through challenges and victories.
Butch had been waiting for this moment since they arrived.
Takuya used to be the dominant leader of Huntail tribe, or at least that was minutes until Professor Birch shook the game up. Butch had been eyeing Takuya's job for a long time, but there was no way he could ever overcome such an aggressive personality in the Frontier. Whether people liked the impulsive hothead or not, it was clear that Takuya would be a force to reckon with. Butch didn't want to cross Takuya and be on his bad side. It was too soon for that.
But Takuya was now a thing of the past. He was no longer a member of Huntail and he was no longer important to any of the men. And with Takuya's removal meant that Butch's wish could finally be fulfilled.
He knew it - all along, he was the rightful leader of this tribe!
Butch: Our tribe looks like they're filled with a bunch of pushovers. I mean, take a look at guys like JP and Takato. They don't have a frickin' clue what's going on here! It's obvious that they need someone like me to hold their hands and guide them along the way.
Butch smirked arrogantly at the cameras.
Butch: From now on, I'll be running this tribe. Those foolish men - and that girl - will all be under my command.
And so, Butch was easily established as the leader of Huntail. The map was now in his hands and it was his responsibility to navigate his tribe through the forests to reach to their campsite.
Following closely behind the self-acclaimed leader was James. Although he despised Butch as a person outside of the game, James was at least sensible enough to realize his Team Rocket rival was the top dog around Huntail for the time being. It would be a foolish move to anger the leader on his first day. James believed that if he didn't say anything stupid, his tribe members wouldn't have a reason to vote him off. So for the most part of the journey, James said very little, only giving brief answers when spoken to.
None of the tribe members knew what to make of James yet. He was just the quiet guy with a pair of evasive green eyes.
"I'd say we've walked about two miles now," said Butch, making a reasonable estimate. He lowered his head to study the map. "We can probably arrive to camp before sunset, but I doubt we'll be able to do anything else."
"Mm-hmm," mumbled James, nodding his head.
"I think we should take a small break. You know, find some food before it gets too dark or something," suggested TK, who was walking in the middle of the pack. He placed his hand over his flat stomach. "Besides, I'm kind of hungry."
"Hear, hear!" JP echoed, grinning. He then buried his face in his hands. "Oh man, how am I ever going to last thirty nine days out here without food?"
"Without chocolate," added TK with a teasing smile.
"Dude!" JP nudged TK in the shoulders. The chubby Frontier licked his lips as if he could taste the food in his mouth. "Don't even get me started on chocolate!"
"Food isn't going to be a problem, guys." Brock grinned. He put his arms on their shoulders and leaned forward, waving an apple in front of their faces. "Look what we found on those trees out there."
He gestured his thumb over his shoulder, pointing to a nearby tree where Takato was standing under. The petite boy was picking up several apples on the ground that fell from the trees.
"Apples!" May squealed in delight, sprinting towards Takato. "I love apples!"
"I suggest we stop now to collect some food for tonight." Brock suggested in an authoritative voice. He looked up at the sky with his squinty eyes. "TK is right. It's going to get dark soon and we might not have time to scout for food if we don't arrive to camp on time."
He paused, smiling slyly as he turned to look at Butch. Butch was obviously not pleased with the sudden diversion in the middle of his hike.
"If that is okay with you, Butch." Brock added, trying his best to hide his sarcastic tone.
"Alright." Butch grunted, not sounding very content. "I suppose we could each carry a few apples before continuing on."
JP and TK exchanged glances with each other before they ran over to join Takato and May by the tree. Butch walked towards them with a cautious demeanour. He didn't look satisfied that they were following under Brock's advice instead of his.
"Don't take too long. We've to get going before dark!" Butch barked.
Brock: I think Butch might be a bit jealous of me because I, uh, kind of stole his thunder today. He instantly stepped up as the leader when Takuya is gone and I give him props for that dash of courage. But to be terribly honest, he's a pretty bad leader. I mean, sure, he knows what he's doing since he has experience before in supervising people…
Brock chuckled, shaking his heads at the cameras.
Brock: But Butch is such a sourpuss! As May would say, he's in a desperate need for a sense of humour. There's always a grey cloud of misery hanging above Butch's head, and he's no fun to be around with.
- - -
The sun was slowly setting in the west, and while the men were still loafing around in the forest, the women made much more progress in their hike. Like her male counterpart on the other tribe, Cassidy had taken control over the female-dominant Gorebyss. Takuya tried to pitch in a few ideas at first, but he soon realized that women tended to listen to another woman in charge rather than a man. So under Cassidy's efficient navigation skills, they had faced almost no problems with directions during their hike.
Suzie would be the first to say that the Gorebyss tribe was "wunnnnnn-derful". One thing that the tribe members soon learned about Suzie was that the enormous smile never disappeared from her face. Throughout the entire hike, she was bouncing merrily in her steps and giggling like the energetic girl that she was. And it was almost impossible for anybody not to like Suzie and her easygoing personality. To most of the tribe, she was like a little sister to them.
"Hey Zoe! Guess what I found!" Suzie giggled, running up to the blonde. Her tiny hands were placed behind her back.
"What is it, Suzie?" Zoe sweetly replied back.
"Ta-da!" Suzie giddily giggled, presenting to Zoe a small white egg in her hand.
Zoe: Oh Suzie, she is a doll! I don't even know how to describe her. She is like a big ball of energy and I just love having her around. She adds so much to tribe morale and I think the mood will be so different without her. Yeah, she is definitely the tribe mascot. I just adore Suzie.
"Oh wow, it's an egg!" Zoe laughed, although she appeared a little confused.
"Actually, it's not just any egg. It's a Spearow egg," said Cassidy in a matter-of-fact voice. She turned around to look at Suzie. "Where did you find it, kid?"
"Over there…or somewhere." Suzie said, vaguely gesturing to a tree behind her. She shrugged, still smiling.
"Well, they're dangerous. Spearows are known for being dangerous predators of the forest. When that mother Fearow finds out her egg is gone, there's going to be hell in this forest." Cassidy raised an eyebrow, clearly not amused by Suzie's antics. "You need to leave it behind."
"What? But I don't want to!" Suzie's smile started to fade. She hugged the egg very closely to her chest. "It's my egg, I found it!"
"Look kid, I'm not going to have a swarm of Spearows hunting after us just because of your stupid egg." Cassidy's voice grew even harsher and sharper than before. It almost sounded like the venomous hiss from a snake. "So either you're going to leave the damn thing behind, or I'll snatch it from your hands and break the damn egg myself, got it?"
"Don't worry, Suzie. The baby Spearow will be perfectly fine with its mother." Zoe said in a more tolerable tone. She gently took the egg from Suzie's hand and placed it by a tree.
Suzie nodded, although she didn't look too convinced. However, her enthusiastic smile slowly returned to her face again. And just like that, it seemed like the Spearow egg had already vanished from her mind. In a matter of seconds, Suzie reverted back to her happy-go-lucky self.
"That was a bit harsh, don't you think? She's just a kid." Zoe asked, leering reproachfully at Cassidy.
"I'm just warning her about common sense, because we all know she doesn't have that much of it," replied Cassidy, brushing the remark off as if nothing happened.
Zoe glared at her, and she opened her mouth to say something - but after a few seconds of thinking over it, she decided not to make this a big issue. Still, she clearly looked bothered by the display of behaviour from the Team Rocket member. Takuya walked up to her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. She smiled gratefully at him.
Takuya: Cassidy really pisses me off. I've been around her for, like, an hour and her circle of negativity is already bringing me down. She tends to talk down to people in this condescending manner and I find that really, really rude. I know Zoe can't stand her either. So yeah, Cassidy better watch herself. She's not going to make many friends if she keeps that attitude up.
"Hey look, everybody! I think I see our campsite!" Casey grinned, pointing ahead at the red flag blowing vigorously in the wind.
"Gorebyss power, baby!" Takuya laughed, pumping his fist in the air.
Despite spending most of their hike in a dense forest, their campsite was surprisingly located on a barren piece of land, shaped like a large lopsided oval. The camp were circled in by surrounding trees, but there was a narrow and rapid river flowing nearby. Across from the river were several tall mountains towering over their campsite. A crimson red flag marked the center of the campsite. Underneath the flag were the much needed supplies to help them on this expedition.
This was the Gorebyss camp - their home for the next thirty nine days.
"I love it here, man!" Takuya laughed, jumping up and down on the spot like an uncontrollable monkey. He raced towards the flag, placing a brief kiss on the pole.
Most of the women looked amused. Only Zoe giggled out loud, feeling a bit embarrassed for her long-time friend.
"We have rice." Cassidy said, opening a large container underneath the flag. She opened up the second container beside it and peered inside. "And corn - or at least I think this is corn."
"It tastes more like mush than corn," Rika joked, after tasting a quick sample out of the container. "Is this all we have for food?"
"Oh yeah," laughed Cassidy. She shook her head, placing her large hands on her slender hips. "Rice and corn will be our only source of food for thirty nine days. Welcome to Survivor, girls!"
- - -
Hours later, the Huntail tribe finally arrived at their camp. By this time, most of the tribe members were tired and exhausted after the lengthy hike. There was no loud and lively celebration about their arrival, just a unanimous sigh of relief from everybody.
"We should start a fire to keep warm at night," said Brock. He held up a box of matches that he found amongst their supplies.
"Yeah," May yawned. She wrapped her long, skinny arms around her body. "Don't we have sleeping bags to sleep in?"
Nearby, Drew looked up at May with a smirk. He had been rummaging through the tribe's supplies until May had made that remark.
"I hope you know that you signed up for Survivor, not summer camp." Drew teased.
"I know that!" May retorted, sounding somewhat annoyed. "It's just...oh, never mind."
"Anyway, we should start a fire." Butch commanded. "Somebody go in the forest and collect wood - chop down some branches from the trees with this machete if you have to." He held up the lone machete found in their camp supplies. "And go in pairs - never go in the forest alone at night."
"Neato!" JP laughed, holding up a long cylinder in his hand. "I think we've a flashlight."
He searched his fingers to find the switch button and tried to turn on the power. But alas, no light came out of the so-called flashlight. He groaned.
"No batteries in this flashlight. Useless." JP frowned, tossing the flashlight aside on the sand. He looked at a few other small electronics they have in their supplies and sighed. "So I guess the radio and the fan won't work either. Man, why do they give us these luxuries when they don't even work."
"To mock us, probably." Drew offered.
JP: We've a lot more supplies than we actually expected in our camp. You know, we've the basics - rice, corn, a few pots, a machete, one box of matchsticks, and a few bits of ends here and there. I mean, it's not like we're living in a hotel here - but it's actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be. We're not going to die of thirst here, dude! As soon as we start a fire tonight, we can boil some water and drink it…because I'm really, really thirsty!
"Can we drink the water from the river?" TK asked, dipping a finger into the rapid river.
"We need to purify it by boiling the water. It's not clean," said Brock.
Like the Gorebyss tribe, the layout of the Huntail camp was built exactly the same way. They were surrounded by trees and there was a narrow river in their camp.
"The river seems to be leading into the sea," said TK, looking at the direction where the river is flowing. He turned to May, using his fingers to point out the increasing width of the river. May smiled brightly, nodding in comprehension.
"We've a rowing boat! We can go out to sea that way!" Takato laughed nervously, feeling desperate to contribute into the conversation around camp.
"No way," Butch shook his head, sounding dismissive. "The river is too rapid and there's no way the rowing boat can survive a current like that. Besides, there could be a damn waterfall down there, for all we know."
Takato frowned, looking slightly crestfallen that he wouldn't be able to sail out at sea.
"So, who's going to look for firewood?" Butch asked.
He browsed through his tribe members for a candidate, barely recognizing their faces in the dark. He immediately skipped past Takato and May, not even putting them in consideration for such an important job. They were the two people who he felt were the weakest to their tribe. Brock? No, Butch refused to give that son of a bitch any more time to be the hero. JP, TK and Drew - they were all pansies who Butch can't trust with a job like this. Finally, he turned to the only remaining member of the tribe left: James.
"You, come with me to the forest. Bring the machete," said Butch, pointing at James. James was taking a bite out of an apple at the time.
The Team Rocket member looked genuinely surprised that he was called. But like an obedient follower, he got up and tossed his apple core aside. Brock watched James and Butch disappear into the forest. He frowned.
Brock: Normally, it would be dangerous to go into the forest during night, let alone go chop down some trees for firewood. But since none of us have drank any fluids for the past few hours, I'm worried that we'll get dehydrated out here. We need to start a fire as soon as possible so we can boil the water. I know we're exhausted after the hike, but water is our first priority out here.
"Hey, did everybody eat an apple yet?" Brock asked. He was talking about the fruits they had collected in the middle of their hike. "The apple juice isn't a great substitute for water, but it's the best we can do for now. You don't want to be dehydrated out here, trust me."
"Good point, Brock." TK said, picking up an apple from the ground. "You're really good with this survival stuff."
"Yeah, you're much better of a leader than Butch is," Takato laughed. TK offered him an apple, which Takato politely accepted. "Thank you, TK."
"Thanks, I guess. I've some experience from being outdoors so often." Brock nodded, smiling. He turned around to face the forest. "I just hope the guys will come back soon with the firewood. We need to have some water in our bodies…"
And suddenly, a loud, high-pitched scream pierced their ears. It came from the forest.
Brock nervously glanced at his tribe members, who were all looking at him in awe.
- - -
Rika Nonaka wasn't an easy person to please. Some tribe members had compared her face to a stone, because it would be almost impossible to crack a smile out of her. Although she inherited her mother's beautiful blue eyes, they looked as if they were devoid of any compassion or emotion. Her words were harsh and her attitude was brash. To those who didn't know Rika well, it was easy to see why she came across as a crabby and boorish bitch. It didn't seem to bother her at all. She was used to being called unfriendly names by those who felt intimidated by her unfriendly attitude.
Rika: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Who cares about what those people think of me? I am Rika Nonaka and if you don't like me, then here's what I think of you.
She proceeded to flip the cameras with her middle finger.
That pretty much summarized her motto in life.
But this morning, Rika was actually smiling, a rare sight that would shock her normal friends back at home. It looked like a weak and forced one, but a smile nevertheless. She was standing in front of their incomplete shelter, with her hands on her hips. All that was missing from their shelter was the roof.
"This is what we've built for the past three hours, our shelter," explained Rika, talking to one of the cameras.
She went and knocked on one of the four supporting beams that held the shelter together. There was one at every end of the shelter. The floor was slightly levitated from the ground, and they've even built a tiny two-step staircase to help them go inside the shelter. In front of the shelter, there was their carefully tended fire. Casey suggested they build it there so they could keep warm while sleeping in the shelter at night. The only downside was that they didn't have any walls around, since it was difficult enough to fit eight people inside a crammed space.
But Rika was pleased with what her tribe has done so far. She took another look at her shelter, nodding her head slowly. They might not be architects, but in her opinion, this must've been the best damn shelter ever built in Survivor history.
Rika: The best part about this shelter was that it's a group project - so everybody contributed in a way to build this. Well, everybody did participate…except for one person.
Rika was talking about Delia Ketchum, the single mother of one from Pallet Town, also the eldest player on this tribe.
It wasn't because Delia was lazy. Having the experience of raising a child, she would be the first person to argue that she had excellent work ethics. No, the reason why Delia wasn't working was because she had fallen ill. The harsh environment and a lack of water on the first day caused her fragile body to collapse. She never recovered from it ever since. So, while her hard-working tribe members were working around her, Delia rested uncomfortably in the shelter, trying her best not to throw up. She placed a wet buff on her forehead.
"I feel so worthless around here," joked Delia.
"You are." Cassidy responded back. The sassy Team Rocket diva was not known for sweetening her answers. "But you're also sick, so you need to rest."
"Sorry everybody," Delia said apologetically. She flashed a weak smile at Cassidy, who had already turned away. "I'll get better soon, I promise."
Delia: I…uh…I'm not doing so well out here. May be I don't do enough exercise at home or may be I'm just old, but I've been vomiting ever since that hike yesterday. Not only am I throwing up, I also have chapped lips and a killer headache when I woke up this morning. Cassidy said that I might be dehydrated since I didn't drink any boiled water last night. It was really late by the time they got the fire started yesterday, and I fell asleep without drinking any of it.
She rubbed her fingers over her pale lips. Skin was starting to peel off from it.
Delia: I'm sure I'll get better in a few days, it's just that my body couldn't adapt to an entirely different environment. For now, I think it's best if I don't go out in the sun. If I move, I'll probably just throw up anyway. I hate that I'm not contributing to the work. I hate feeling useless around camp.
And while others were working on the shelter, Suzie and Zoe went into the forest to forage for food. It was only Day 2, but several women were already complaining about the lack of variety in food choices. It was either rice or corn, so the meals seemed tedious and tasteless to the picky eaters. Zoe was confident that they'll make more new discoveries in the future. After all, a large part of this island was still unexplored. But unfortunately, the women weren't having much luck finding food in the forest. Apples were the only edible items they had found so far.
After an hour of collecting apples from the trees, the two girls emerged from the forest with a modest supply. As usual, Suzie had a huge enthusiastic smile on her round face, giggling as she walked with her short, stubby legs. Behind her was Zoe, looking stunningly beautiful even after two scruffy days on this island. She held a black pot that contained all the apples they've collected.
"We're the best apple picking team ever!" Zoe laughed, slapping a high five with Suzie. She put her pot on the ground and clapped her hands together. "It's time for lunch, everyone!"
At the cue of lunchtime, the tribe members all stopped working as they gathered around Zoe and her pot of apples. They sat in a circle around the camp fire, waiting patiently while Suzie and Zoe distributed three apples to each tribe member. The only person absent from the Gorebyss lunch circle was Delia.
"I know it's not a lot for lunch. But we only have a limited supply of rice and we don't want to run out," said Cassidy, holding up an apple. It was her idea to conserve the rice and corn, which were only cooked during breakfast and dinner time.
"Cassidy, this is a great decision, you know, to rationalize the food. I'm so glad you thought of it!" Mimi smiled appreciatively at the older woman. Several others mumbled in consent.
"It''s just common sense." Cassidy smirked, sticking her nose pompously in the air.
When all seven members received their share of food, Suzie made the extra effort to bring several apples to Delia, who was still lying in the shelter.
"Here are three apples, Mrs. Ketchum! Enjoy!" Suzie smiled sympathetically at the sick woman. She placed two apples beside Delia's hand, and then gasped. "Oh no, I must've dropped one!"
"It's alright, Suzie. You don't need to look for it." Delia laughed. She got up and patted Suzie on the shoulder. "You're very kind. Thank you."
Suzie: I feel really bad about Mrs. Ketchum because she is feeling really, really sick. This morning, I saw her throwing up and stuff. It's really disgusting and I don't like to see her act like that. I want her to feel better.
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot." Zoe snapped her fingers. She threw an apple core into an empty pot and then pulled out a piece of parchment from her pants pocket. "We got treemail today!"
"Is it an immunity challenge?" Mimi squealed excitedly.
"It is. The challenge will be in the afternoon." Zoe nodded her head. She began to unroll the parchment, and then paused midway. "And guess what? We're going to win against the men. We're going to kick some ass!"
"You got that right." Takuya chuckled.
Zoe: We're pumped about the upcoming immunity challenge. I…I really want to win. I'm a competitive person, so I'm not used to losing - especially losing to a bunch of guys. Oh my goodness, I'd hate that. Women can do anything that men could do, if not better.
Zoe smiled, flipping her beautiful blonde hair over her shoulder.
Zoe: Those macho men over there probably think we're weak in physical challenges, because that's how guys are…they're cocky. If there are male chauvinists on the other tribe, it's going to make victory taste so much sweeter when we beat them in the immunity challenge!
- - -
And while the shelter in Gorebyss tribe was polished and almost completed, the Huntail Tribe didn't even start building their shelter yet. They slacked off for numerous trivial reasons: they needed to conserve energy, it was comfortable enough to sleep on the sand, there were other priorities more important than shelter. All of these excuses to be lazy…Brock heard them all. The Pokemon Breeder would be the first to point out that his tribe was a mess, but he always said this out of Butch's earshot - because Butch was still the leader of Huntail and he still held some amount of respect from several tribe members, although by now, the players were starting to get tired of him.
"Butch is a big pain in the butt," May told Brock this morning as they made breakfast together. She was sitting on a log, holding a cutting knife with her right hand. "He clearly has no idea what he's doing. He's probably the worst leader ever."
"I know, May. But TK and JP still listen to him for some reason," said Brock. He was tending the fire that he had built this morning.
"That's because they're followers." May said, slicing an apple in half with her knife. A small clinking sound could be heard, followed by a gasp from May. "Oh shoot!"
"What?" Brock's head perked up, turning around.
"I broke the knife." May sighed, holding the fragile handle of the knife. The sharp blade was still on the ground. She scratched her head, smiling apologetically. "Sorry."
"It's alright. We've a spare knife." Brock said, getting up from the fire. He carefully picked up the blade with his hand, making sure he was pointing the sharp point to the floor.
"Actually…I think Takato broke that other knife last night too. The handle fell of as well." May explained.
"Cheap knives, huh?" Brock let out a small chuckle. "Don't worry, I can fix it."
"You the man!" May grinned, patting Brock on the shoulder.
Brock: Our camp is falling apart. Day 1 of Huntail tribe was horrible. Day 2 of Huntail tribe is…still pretty crappy. We don't have a shelter, we don't have the work ethics and we definitely don't have a good leader. I'm not playing the blame game, but most of this is Butch's fault. He's not a responsible leader and he's not taking care of his tribe like he's supposed to. Most of the time, I feel like I'm picking up his slack because of his negligence.
Brock sighed, rubbing his forehead. He was having a headache just thinking about all the problems in this tribe.
Brock: I think…it's time for a change. I can't sit back here and let things continue the way like it. This…this is what a losing tribe looks like - and I'm not going to be on a losing tribe.
As noon was approaching, several tribe members were finally waking up. James, one of the late sleepers, joined Brock and May by the campfire.
"Good morning." James yawned, brushing a strand of blue hair away from his green eyes.
Normally under his friend Jessie's command, he wouldn't be caught ten feet in proximity amongst with the twerps, let alone converse with them. But James knew better than to isolate anybody in this game. For all he knew, Brock and May could possibly be two of the seven people in the jury, determining if he'd be the sole survivor or not. And if winning the million dollars meant that he had to talk with twerps like Brock and May, then yes, he will do it!
"Hey James, how's your knee doing?" May asked, sounding genuinely concerned.
"It's alright, but it still hurts a little," said James. He gently placed a hand on his right knee. "I just hope I won't slow us down today in the immunity challenge." He then looked gratefully at Brock. "Thanks for tending my knee last night, Brock."
"No problem." Brock smiled. "I'm just glad there was a first-aid kit in our supplies."
James: Last night, I was in the forest looking for firewood with Butch. It turned out to be a horrible idea, because I tripped over a rock or something and I ended up cutting my knee. I don't remember doing this, but the men kept saying that I screamed like a girl when I fell. Whatever. Anyway, my knee hurts soooooo bad, but I'm still hanging on. If we go to tribal council, they'll look for any reason to vote somebody off. This little cut on the knee is nothing compared to winning a million dollars.
James grinned, his enigmatic green eyes dancing behind his hair.
James: I'm not going to give them the satisfaction of voting me out.
"Hey, you built a fire!" James said, finally noticing the fire right in front of him..
"Yeah, I started the fire this morning with May," said Brock. He then grinned impishly. "You know, it's much easier to collect wood in the forest when there's light."
"And we're boiling water right now, so we won't be thirsty anymore!" May giggled.
"That…that's great!" James laughed, looking a little taken back. "Wow. Wait, how come Botch didn't do any of this? He's supposed to be the leader!"
"Good question," said Brock with a disapproving sneer.
He stood up and removed the pot of the water from the fire, placing it on the ground. May handed him several self-carved wooden cups, and Brock filled each of them with the fresh water.
"Drink some water, James. You don't want to get dehydrated. An illness will really bring the tribe down," said Brock, handing a cup of water to James.
"Is that water? Say it isn't so, Joe!" JP shouted in joy. The chubby Frontier emerged from the forest and ran over to the trio. Brock handed him a cup of water as well.
"There's plenty more germ-free water now that we've a fire going." Brock chuckled, watching JP gulped the whole cup in one giant sip.
"Refill please!" JP grinned, handing over the cup to Brock. "I'm glad we finally have water, man!"
"Hey, I was wondering…" Brock said slowly, pausing to take a sip of water. "We were wondering if you'd like to start working on a shelter. I'm sure sleeping on the sand isn't that comfortable."
"Are you kidding? I slept like a rock!" JP laughed.
"So how about it? We can build a shelter, starting this afternoon. We shouldn't have to spend another night sleeping outdoors," said Brock.
"Plus, it'll get really bad if it started to rain." May added. She shook her head frantically at her own suggestion. "I don't want to sleep in the rain."
"Dude, I don't know. Did you consult with Butch about this idea? He would know what to do." JP rubbed his chin. He then pulled out a piece of parchment from his pocket. "By the way, TK told me to deliver this. We have treemail."
Brock bit his lips. He managed to force an artificial smile on his face.
"Forget it. We'll worry about the shelter later." He waved his hand in dismissal. "I want to hear what the immunity challenge is about!"
But as JP read the treemail out loud, none of it got processed in his head. Brock only had one thought his head right now.
He hated the name Butch.
- - -
It was time for the first immunity challenge.
Professor Birch watched as the two tribes arrived, assembling themselves on their respective mats. The crimson red Gorebyss flag blew vigorously in the wind, side by side with the navy blue Huntail flag. Standing underneath the flags were the sixteen castaways, all of them looked equally confident and eager. Nobody wanted to return to their camp today with a bruised ego and the burden of a loss. Even worse were the consequences: nobody wanted to go to the first tribal council. Nobody wanted to be the first person voted off.
"Welcome to your first immunity challenge!" Professor Birch announced. He was holding a golden Pokeball, which was about the size of a soccer ball. "Today, you'll be playing for this." He waved the golden Pokeball around, while the players cheered enthusiastically. "This is the immunity idol. Win this and you're guaranteed three more days on this island."
"Yeah baby!" An indistinguishable male voice called out from the crowd.
"In today's challenge, you'll be going through an obstacle course in the sea." Professor Birch explained. He slowly walked over to two boats, each in the tribe's respective colour. "Row your boat to the marked area." Professor Birch pointed at the four green buoys floating in the water some distance away. "There are sixteen torches there, all scattered underwater. When you arrive, dive down and retrieve eight torches for your tribe."
Delia grimaced. She looked slightly discouraged at the physical aspects of this challenge.
"Once you have eight torches, you must turn your boat over and row back to this island. Once you've arrived, you must light the torches in the fire pit. The first tribe to complete this will win immunity! Does everybody understand the rules?"
"Bring it on!" Takuya screamed. His loud voice drowned out all the mumbles of consent from the other players.
All the players arranged themselves in the position to start. Professor Birch smiled as he slowly raised his hand.
On his cue, the sixteen castaways made a mad dash towards their boats. While Delia and Suzie lagged behind in their running, the Huntail tribe quickly got their act together. Once they pushed their boat into the water, all eight tribe members quickly hopped in and rowed away to their next area - the floating buoys.
"Stroke, damn it! Stroke!" Butch screamed maniacally at his tribe members. He thrust his oar in the water, paddling the boat with all his might.
Takato nervously looked around, poorly mimicking what his tribe members were doing. He still had no idea how to hold an oar properly, let alone row a boat.
The Gorebyss tribe was still on the island, but they were almost ready to depart. Suzie accidentally fell on the sand, but she quickly recovered without a complaint. After the perky little girl leapt into the boat, the women were ready to sail. They rowed in unison towards the floating green buoys, and despite a late start, they weren't that far behind from the other tribe.
"We can still catch up, Gorebyss!" Zoe shouted out encouragingly. She narrowed her eyes at the other tribe in front of her. She didn't want to lose to the cocky men.
While the red boat traveled in a straight line, the blue Huntail boat was going in a zigzagged direction, mostly due to the lack of coordination from the tribe members. The more athletic members, like Brock and Butch, were paddling too quickly, and the slower members couldn't catch up to their pace. Orders and commands to fix this problem were shouted all at once, but the men's loud voices drowned each other out. What could've been a simple advice came out as an unintelligible clutter of noise.
"Faster! Faster!" Butch kept shouting. He used his right leg to lightly kick Takato on his hips. "Yo kid, paddle faster!"
"I'm trying my best! And stop kicking me!" Takato shouted.
"Will you all shut up already? I can't concentrate when you're constantly screaming in my ear!" JP shrieked at the men. But since Butch and Takato were also talking at the same time, the other tribe members couldn't hear what he had to say.
Despite the disorderly chaos, the Huntail boat successfully reached the green floating buoys. Drew and TK dove into the sea, searching for the torches underwater. The agile swimmers quickly returned with impressive results, resurfacing each time with two or three torches in their hands.
By the time TK found Huntail's eighth final torch, the Gorebyss boat had arrived. Like the men, the women used the same strategy to only send their two best swimmers in the water. Cassidy and Takuya dove in, just as the blue Huntail boat turning around, making their way back to the mainland.
"Oh no, oh no…" Delia muttered as she watched the red boat depart hastily. An empathetic Mimi held the housewife's hand, which was trembling with fear. "Please come back soon, Cassidy and Takuya. Please."
The single mother from Pallet Town was panicking because it appeared as if they were going to lose the first immunity challenge. She might have been sick like a dog for the past two days, but Delia Ketchum wasn't stupid. It was the first tribal council, and her tribe members will look for any reason to target somebody as an easy first vote. Delia fitted all of the criteria - she was sick and she wasn't a contributor to her tribe.
Delia knew that if they lost this challenge, she would be the instant scapegoat in tribal council.
And she knew that they needed to win this challenge.
"Yes! Four more to go!" Suzie giggled when Takuya and Cassidy both resurfaced from the water, each holding up two torches in their hands.
Meanwhile, the Huntail tribe was stumbling in water. Due to the lack of coordination and communication between each other, they were traveling slightly off course. While the island was straight ahead, the boat was slightly slanting towards the left. Brock was the first person to notice this.
"We've to turn back! We're going off course!" Brock warned. "Everyone, shift! Shift!"
Takato made a face. How was he supposed to do that?
"Oh man, those girls are catching up to us!" JP turned around to examine the red boat. He could see Takuya and Cassidy climbing on their boat, passing the torches to the rest of their tribe members. They had just finished collected eight torches.
"Forget the other tribe! We have to focus here!" Butch commanded, but their boat was still going off course.
The Gorebyss boat used this pivotal time to close up the gap between the two boats. By the time Huntail straightened out their problems and got on track again, the Gorebyss boat was just right behind them. It looked like a neck to neck race now to arrive to the island. There was no more room for mistakes.
And then it happened.
Takato accidentally swung his oar too hard, knocking over two torches into the sea with his elbow. Takato gasped in horror, shouting for his tribe to stop the boat as he dove down to retrieve the two fallen torches. During this time, the Gorebyss tribe's boat easily passed by them. Huntail lost their lead.
"He's absolutely useless." Butch spitted angrily, mumbling under his breath. In front of him was James, who was nodding his head with consent.
Takato didn't resurface from the water with the two lost torches until a minute later. But by then, it was too late. The Gorebyss tribe had already arrived to shore, and the tribe members were hopping off the boat one by one. As soon as Suzie, the last person to leave the boat, stepped foot on the island, a winning tribe was declared. Zoe led the way as the crimson red tribe ran to the fire pit, lighting their torches. The flames flared vibrantly and brightly in the air - that was the sign of victory.
"Gorebyss wins immunity!" Professor Birch announced, which was followed by an eruption of cheers from the Gorebyss tribe. He turned towards the blue Huntail tribe, who were just arriving to the island. "Unfortunately Huntail tribe, you'll be attending tribal council tomorrow night, where one of your tribe members will be voted off."
"Damn it!" Butch muttered, looking very frustrated. He and several other tribe members glared angrily at Takato, who was too ashamed to even look up from his feet.
Professor Birch then handed Zoe the coveted immunity idol, which she proudly waved in the air like a Gorebyss flag. She passed the golden Pokeball around to the rest of her tribe members, so that each person could have a taste of what victory feels like. For some of them, this was easily one of the largest accomplishments ever achieved in their lives.
Zoe was satisfied with their win, content in knowing that the men from Huntail will never underestimate, never doubt, never mock the capabilities of women ever again.
Delia was ecstatic with their win, thankful that she wouldn't be targeted at the first tribal council because of her illness.
Suzie was delighted with their win, if merely because the wide grins on her tribe members' faces made her very happy.
Gorebyss was a happy, united tribe.
For now, anyway.
- - -
After returning from the challenge, the sun had set and the castaway found themselves loitering in darkness. The only thing illuminating the Huntail camp that night was a weakly lit fire, positioned in the centre of the campsite. Some tribe members gathered around the fire for warmth, but none of them have much to say to each other. Even Drew, who usually looked so calm and stable, was shivering in the cold. He wrapped his purple jacket around himself.
"We're cold and miserable." May mumbled. She sniffled softly, gazing sadly in to the fire. "And we don't even have a stupid shelter to sleep in."
"Yeah, this…just…sucks!" JP groaned, burying his face in his hands.
"Hey guys, where's Takato?" Brock asked, scanning around the fire for the petite Tamer. He was nowhere in sight.
"Who cares?" Butch grumpily replied. "Hopefully, he jumped into the river and drowned himself, so he could spare us the energy to vote him off at tribal council." A thin smirk crossed his sharp, angular face. "It's the least he could do after what happened today at the challenge."
Brock frowned, but decided better than to tell the callous Team Rocket member what he really felt inside. He got up from the comfy log that he was sitting on, turning his back to his unresponsive tribe members.
"I'm going to look for Takato," he announced to the group.
Nobody cared enough to join him.
Brock: Losing the immunity challenge today really brought our morale down. I know everybody tried their best today, that's what matters. We worked together as a tribe and we failed together as a tribe. But Takato is really beating himself up over this loss. He thinks it's entirely his fault that we lost the immunity challenge today. Of course, it doesn't help that assholes like Butch are ruthlessly trashing him for his performance.
Brock shook his head disapprovingly, the same way a father would shake his head at his disobedient son. He sighed.
Brock: Poor kid. He doesn't deserve to feel like that.
While everybody was cuddled closely around the camp fire, only Takato isolated himself by sitting at the edge of the river, all alone. To keep warm, he put his knees up to his chest and hugged them. The petite boy stared into the nothingness with a grim expression on his face. What he was looking at, he could never explain, but at least the nothingness was better than seeing the disappointed looks on his tribe members' faces.
Suddenly, he could hear footsteps.
Takato turned around. It was dark and he could barely make out the tall figure that was approaching him. It turned out to be Brock; he had found him. The Petwer City gym leader smiled at him and took a seat beside Takato by the river.
"What's on your mind, Takato?" Brock asked.
"Just depressed, that all." Takato replied in a very soft whisper, still gazing dumbly at the water.
"Takato…what happened at the immunity challenge today was nobody's fault." Brock explained, slowly putting a hand on Takato's shoulder. "It was an accident. Accidents happen." He paused, and then added. "Don't blame yourself because of it."
"But we had the lead at the challenge, we could've won." Takato whimpered weakly. "If it wasn't for my mistake, we wouldn't have fallen behind…"
And whilst he spoke, Takato had his head shamefully hung down. He never once looked at Brock directly in the eyes.
He didn't want Brock to see that he was crying.
Takato: I feel really bad that we lost the immunity challenge today, because I'm responsible for the loss. I mean, I've had some camping experience, but I never learned how to row a boat before! Everybody knew that I was slowing my tribe down. I'm not an athlete, they all knew that.
Takato smiled weakly at the cameras.
Takato: Coming in here, I knew I wouldn't be the strongest or the smartest. My strategy was to just avoid making big enemies or big mistakes, but umm… it's not really working out for me so far.
"Takato, we are a team," said Brock. He clasped his hands together to demonstrate unity. "And you just can't let one little loss bring your whole attitude down, because it will bring the whole team down. You've got to start thinking positively."
"Yeah," mumbled Takato, although he still didn't sound confident. He took his hand and wiped his eyes.
"And despite the loss, most of us still really like you. And we don't want to see you mope around like this and punish yourself for a trivial thing like this." Brock said earnestly. "So what do you say? Why don't you come and join the rest of us around the fire?"
Standing up, Brock reached out his muscular hand to Takato, inviting him to return to the campsite. The little boy looked up at him uncertainly for a few seconds.
And finally, Takato smiled. He took Brock's hand and slowly got up from his seat.
"Thanks Brock," said Takato. "You're a real nice guy…you're like a superhero! Is there anything you can't do?"
"Find a girlfriend?" Brock grinned bashfully at the petite Tamer.
- - -
The castaways had spent three days in the Dewford islands and morning rituals were beginning to establish.
In the Huntail tribe, TK Takaishi would always be the first person to wake up. Following his strict exercise routine in real life, the athletic blonde went for a morning jog around the island every morning. He would return to camp feeling energized, having absorbed the fresh island air.
Next to wake up were Brock and May. Brock would start cooking breakfast and May would begin boiling water, so that food and water could be easily provided when the other tribe members are awake. Their contribution to camp was significant, but often overlooked.
Butch was always one of the last people to wake up, but surprisingly, he also developed a morning routine of his own. Unlike some of his tribe members, the Team Rocket elitist was not a morning person. Without his coffee and creature comforts, Butch was groggy and miserable for hours after he woke up. And when Butch was irritated, he would do the one thing that he did best - he criticized.
"You know why I couldn't get a wink of sleep last night?" Butch asked some of his tribe members over breakfast this morning. The five of them were sitting on logs around the fire, eating the apple slices that Brock prepared for them earlier in the day.
"We know, man." JP said emphatically. "Sleeping on sand is so not comfortable."
"May be Brock is right. We should build a shelter so we'll at least have a roof over our heads," suggested James. He looked around camp for the tanned Pokemon Breeder, but he couldn't find him, since Brock was foraging for food with Takato and May in the forest.
"No, no. That's not it." Butch shook his head. "Actually last night, I just kept on thinking and thinking how that little shit Takato brutalized the immunity challenge." He smirked. "I just got this mental image stuck in my head on how he dropped the torches in the water. And it still pisses me off!"
"We could've definitely won the challenge if it wasn't for that mistake," said TK, nodding his head.
"Exactly! And frankly, I don't even know why we're keeping Takato around camp." Butch held up his hand, beginning to count his fingers off. "He's weak in challenges, he's useless around camp, he's socially inept…so why are we making this tribal council decision so hard on ourselves, am I right?"
"Good point." Drew rubbed his chin slowly.
"So here's what I'm thinking…" Butch began, but he needn't continue what he was going to say. The other men already knew what Butch was talking about, especially since the idea had crossed each and single one of their minds after losing immunity.
Butch looked at his team members sitting around the fire: TK, JP, Drew, James and himself. That was five people - no, five votes needed to vote Takato Matsuki off tonight.
"The five of us form an alliance together and vote for the same person at every tribal council." Butch suggested, his finger circling the men surrounding him. "And we vote out Takato tonight. Next would be the girl, and then Brock."
"I'm okay with voting Takato out tonight. We need to keep our tribe strong," said TK cautiously.
"Me too." James replied. Drew also nodded his head in silent consent.
Butch turned to JP with his eyebrows raised, as if to say to the chubby Frontier "Well?" JP's mouth was too full of food to speak right now. He had to swallow everything in one big gulp before he could reply back.
"I'm in the alliance, obviously." JP said. Then, he flashed a boyish grin to his tribe members. "And I've got another idea…we should call ourselves The Breakfast Club because of the circumstances."
"The Breakfast Club!" Butch snickered maniacally, sounding like a rusty drainpipe in need of repair. "I like that name! Good one!"
And just like that, the second alliance in Survivor: Dewford Island was officially created.
Butch: Right now, I feel damn good about my chances in the game. I just established a strong and steady alliance. Like I predicted, those geeks all accepted my offer without a single drop of hesitation. They're just all so gullible. I call them my finger puppets because I control their every move in this game.
He waved his hand dismissively.
Butch: What I find even more hilarious is that we call our alliance "The Breakfast Club", when the two people who actually make us breakfast everyday aren't even in our alliance! That's irony for you!
The first alliance had been built on the other side of the island, quite some time ago.
Ever the cunning liar, Brock used the excuse of foraging food in order to have May and Takato in the forest with him, so the three of them could have a private conversation together. Brock has always been good at reading people, so he knew that he could put all of his trust in May and Takato. They were the two tribe members whom he wanted to be aligned with, all the way until the end.
"You, me and Takato, we'll recruit one or two more votes, and that tyrant Butch is out of here." Brock proposed.
"Sounds good to me!" May said enthusiastically, clapping her hands. "We can convince TK and JP to vote with us for sure!"
"They're going to target me because of my challenge performance, aren't they?" Takato asked timidly. He kicked a small rock on the ground, which hit a tree and bounced back. "I could kind of catch a hint. None of them even bothered to talk with me today."
"Oh Takato! Don't let that thought get you down!" May sighed, hugging the petite Tamer. Over the past few days, she had bonded with the passive Tamer tremendously. She even started to treat Takato as if he was her substitute little brother (except that May would joke that Takato was ten times less annoying than Max ever was).
Takato: I think everybody in Huntail is super nice and friendly, except you-know-who. But the two people who I like the most has to be Brock and May. Brock is just awesome because he does everything around camp! He built the fire, he boiled the water, he cooked the food…he's more resourceful on this island than any of us could ever imagine! I don't know what I…what we could do without Brock on our tribe. We might just starve to death!
Takato laughed, grinning boyishly at the cameras.
Takato: And I really like May too. May be it's because we're both underestimated by the rest of our tribe, but May doesn't treat me like I'm not capable of doing work. It really irritates me sometimes when people think I'm just this weak little kid who can't do anything. That's so far from the truth! Give me a chance to prove myself to you guys, don't dismiss me immediately!
"We'll have the numbers someway somehow, don't worry." Brock added in a confident tone. He looked around the forest for any spies. "Come on, we've to get moving. The others will get suspicious if the three of us stay together too long."
The Huntail tribe might not know it yet, but they had unconsciously adopted strategizing as another of their daily morning rituals.
- - -
Drew sat under a tree by himself, sculpting a small piece of wood with the broken knife blade. It might look like he wasn't doing anything productive, but in reality, Drew was actually carving a wooden bowl from scratch. He already made several drinking cups and eating utensils for his tribe, which they were all extremely grateful for. Drew was pleased that he had an outlet to express his artistic abilities to his tribe members.
"We're civil people. Nobody wants to eat with their hands," said Drew as he held up a half-completed bowl to the cameras. "Except JP," he added with a sinister snicker. "But that's because he eats like a pig."
Drew shrugged, placing the knife blade and wooden bowl on the ground.
"I'm planning to move onto larger projects in the future. May be a chair or something, but I know it's going to take a lot of time and materials to make one."
He stopped talking and looked up. James was approaching him. He was still limping a little in his steps, probably because he had hurt his ankle a few days ago. Drew deducted that James was in the middle of his trip to retrieve water, seeing as the Team Rocket member carried an empty black pot in his hands.
"Hi Drew," James smiled coyly. He took a seat beside Drew by the tree. "Ready for tonight's tribal council meeting?"
"I am. Are you planning to vote off Takato?" Drew asked in an indifferent tone.
James made a shaky gesture with his hand to indicate that he didn't make up his mind yet. He looked uneasy.
"I guess so, since you know…with the alliance and everything," said James. He turned around to see if there was anybody around them. Once James made sure that they were alone, he lowered his voice to a whisper. "Brock and May just told me something a few minutes ago. They aren't going to vote Takato off."
"I know. They approached me too. They want me to join their alliance and vote Butch off." Drew said, still sounding neutral about everything.
"Hmm, so those two are going around everybody with this campaign to save Takato." James widened his eyes.
"Go figure. You know what May and Brock are like." Drew shrugged. "They are as subtle as a hammer hitting a nail."
James laughed softly. It was this type of dry and sarcastic wit that made Drew so appealing to James. He wasn't a goody-two-shoe like most of the other tribe members in Huntail, so James found it comforting to talk with the snippy Pokemon Coordinator. At least somebody out here thought in the same lines as him.
"Let me guess, you're having second thoughts about voting Takato off too." Drew looked up at James expectantly.
"Well, err...yes. It's just that Butch and I don't see each other eye to eye." James rolled his eyes. "I think he's really pompous. And he bosses too many people around here. We're not his slaves!"
James: There has been talk about voting Butch off because he's getting on a lot of people's nerves, especially me. I don't think we'll win or accomplish anything if Butch is our leader, because he's just sooooo divisive and argumentative! I know he's in my alliance, but I don't like the guy and I really don't want him to stay around!
"Frankly, I'd rather keep Takato around a bit longer. He's meek and a bit naive. He's not a threat." Drew shrugged his shoulders again.
"Me too," agreed James. He sighed. "But I don't know…Butch is our unofficial leader of Huntail…"
"Let me tell you something, James. Huntail is a sinking ship as long as Butch continues to be our leader," Drew said. "Anybody who's not blind could tell you that Brock is clearly the better candidate as the leader. He got the work ethic, he got the experience, and he got the maturity to handle such a role. But as long as Butch is around, Brock won't step up as the leader, and then our tribe will keep losing and losing."
"We'll go down like Ulong." James said.
"Basically, yes." Drew nodded his head.
"This sucks!" James smacked his hand to his forehead. "I don't like Butch, but I don't want to vote with the twerps either!" He looked at Drew, obviously flustered. "What should we do?"
With an amused expression on his face, Drew just shrugged.
Drew: Tomorrow morning, I hope Butch eats burnt toast for breakfast at the Loser's Lodge, because it's only appropriate given what I think will happen tonight.
There was a sinister twinkle in Drew's emerald green eyes.
Drew: Butch will get burned at tribal council, and the Breakfast Club is toast.
- - -
Tribal council was held on top of a summit, positioned just above a majestic waterfall. There was a large bonfire placed in the middle of the set and it was the only light source illuminating the otherwise dark sky. There was also a glass sculpture of the Dewford Dewgong, a popular and much worshipped icon in Dewford Town. In front of the sculpture stood Professor Birch, dressed in his long white laboratory coat and a pair of brown sandals.
He watched silently as the eight members of Huntail filed in, dipped their torches in the fire, and took a seat on the two stone bleachers. The professor went through a mandatory speech about how fire represented life in this game ("as long as your torch has a fire, you're still in the game!") and explained the basic instructions of tribal council ("cast a vote for the person you want to vote out!").
And then without further ado, they were ready to begin.
"May, you're the only woman in a tribe consisting of seven men," said Professor Birch. "How has life been for you so far? I mean, it must feel pretty awkward!"
"It is awkward to live with seven men, but I'm managing." May replied, "Luckily, all of these men respect me enough to give me the privacy and personal space that I need - because those are the two key things that a woman needs when she's around men."
"It's great to have May around. She's the best looking girl in the game," added Brock with a chuckle. Several people laughed.
"Do you think that makes you vulnerable tonight?" Professor Birch asked.
"Oh definitely, professor. But I'm always going to feel paranoid at tribal council." May nervously smiled. "But I hope that I proved to them I'm an asset to this tribe. I might be a girl, but that doesn't mean I'm weak in challenges. Just look at how the other tribe did at the immunity challenge!"
"Takato, you guys had the lead at the immunity challenge, but you still lost at the end. What happened?" Professor Birch turned towards the petite boy, asking a new question.
"Err…well, it's partially my fault." Takato mumbled, with his head down on the floor in shame. "I dropped a few of our torches in the water by accident and we lost a lot of time because we had to retrieve it. I've just never been really good in the water."
Butch winced. It still hurt him to hear what that klutz did to lose them that challenge!
"So, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked May. Do you think that makes you vulnerable tonight?" Professor Birch asked.
"Yeah…" Takato replied uncertainly. "But I mean, I hope they aren't basing their votes just on my one challenge performance. I…I could do a lot of things too!"
"I'm going have to disagree, professor." Butch spoke up, raising his hand. "Takato said that it was partially his fault why we lost his challenge. But I say it's entirely his fault. We could have, no, we would have won the challenge if he didn't mess up near the end."
Takato sighed softly, while Brock reached over to give him a comforting pat on the back.
"So Butch, are you going to base your vote because of what happened in the immunity challenge?"
"No doubts about it, I'm going to eliminate the weakest link in our tribe." Butch replied, smirking. He glanced over at Takato. "It is what's best for the tribe."
"TK, let's hear your thoughts." Professor Birch turned towards the blonde. "Do you agree with Butch's assessment? Why should you vote out the weakest link in your tribe?"
"Butch did make a very good point." TK smiled apologetically at Professor Birch, although it seemed like it was directed at Takato. "It's still really early in the game and we need to keep our tribe strong. If we don't get rid of the weaker players, we're just going to keep losing in the challenges."
Sitting beside TK, JP was nodding his head in agreement to what the blonde was saying.
"Professor, I don't like how some of us are trying to project all the blame on Takato." Brock interrupted. He had a disapproving frown on his face. "We lost a lot of time too when we went off in the wrong direction, and personally, I think that mistake cost us more time than what Takato did."
"Really? Is there anyone to blame for going off in the direction?" Professor Birch prompted.
"It's our whole tribe's fault. We lost the challenge. There's not one person in particular who should get the blame for losing this challenge." Brock shook his head. "It's only because Takato's mistake happened near the end of the challenge, and that's why it was magnified by some tribe members looking for a scapegoat."
"That's an interesting perspective to hear." Professor Birch slowly nodded. He clapped his hands. "Okay, it's time to vote. May, you're up first."
To reach the voting booth, the castaways must first cross a bridge over a narrow and rapid river. May got up and walked across the bridge to where the voting booth was. In front of her was a piece of white parchment and a black marker. She picked up the marker and easily wrote down "Butch" on the parchment without hesitation. It hadn't been a difficult decision for her at all.
She held up her vote to the cameras and explained why she cast this vote.
"Butch, I'm voting for you tonight because even though you don't admit it, you're very disrespectful towards women." She stuck her tongue out. "Ever since I've stepped foot on this tribe, you've done nothing but look down on me as if I'm not welcomed in your tribe."
She opened the voting urn and dumped her vote inside.
"Please, just…just stop it. Stop dismissing me because I'm a girl. Stop treating people based on the poor stereotypes in your close-minded brain."
TK was the next to vote. True to his alliance, he wrote down "Takato" on the piece of parchment.
"Sorry, Takato…but at this stage of the game, we need to keep our tribe physically strong. I hope we could stay in touch outside of the game," said TK with a sad smile. He folded his parchment and put it inside the urn.
JP went next, casting a similar vote for the goggle-headed boy.
"Hey, little buddy. I think you're a nice kid, but just not that great in the challenges. Sorry."
Drew and James voted, and then Takato walked up to the voting booth. He picked up the marker and wrote down "Butch" on the parchment. The petite boy held up his vote to the cameras, carrying an uncomfortable smile on his face.
"Butch, you're kind of negative and bossy. And umm…I think you should've known that being a leader puts a huge target on your back, but being a bad leader will get you voted off." Takato said, sounding a bit shaky. "I didn't really get along with you, but I wish you the best of luck."
Next to vote was Butch. As the tall and lanky Team Rocket member trotted across the bridge, a wicked smile crept across his face. Here he was, casting his vote to eliminate the nuisance, to eliminate the liability, to eliminate the weakness. There had never been any doubts as to who he wanted to see gone tonight. Butch didn't like Takato ever since he got smacked in the head by the oar and that was before the game even started!
And so, it surprised nobody when he wrote down Takato's name on the piece of parchment in sharp, jagged letters.
"Takato, you…" Butch held up his vote to the cameras. "You didn't impress me one bit. I can't even think of one redeeming thing that you did out here. You're weak in the challenges like a girl, you don't do jack around camp chores, and you must be the most socially inept person I've ever met in my life. Why are you even here? You suck."
As he folded his parchment in half, the thin smirk on Butch's face grew larger and even more sinister than before.
"There are people in life who succeed, there are people in life who fail, and then there are people like Takato, who basically sucks ass. Goodbye."
The last person to vote was Brock. He walked up the podium to cast his vote, and predictably, it was for Butch.
"A leader is supposed to unite a tribe together, but from what I've seen of you so far, you've done nothing but divide this tribe. I suppose your best demonstration of leadership is when you pulled everyone together to gang up against Takato. What class!" Brock said in a sarcastic tone.
The tanned Pokemon Breeder angrily folded his parchment in half and dumped it in the voting urn.
"Not only that, but you've no idea how to run the camp. Right now, we're a mess. Three days in, and we still don't have a damn shelter to live in. Our fatigue is what's bringing us down in the challenges, not the physically weaker players. We also barely have any food or protection to keep us surviving for tomorrow, let alone the next several weeks! I...I'm just sick of seeing this tribe turn into a disaster. Butch, you're a terrible leader and you're making Huntail go on a downward spiral."
And then, Brock smiled. He flashed a thumbs-up to the cameras.
"It's time for a new sheriff in town."
- - -
"I'll go tally the votes," said Professor Birch.
Professor Birch went and returned with the voting urn. All eight votes have been cast, and one person's dreams were about to be crushed.
"Once the votes have been read, the person voted out will be asked to leave tribal council immediately."
He opened the lid of the voting urn and drew out a parchment.
He flipped the parchment over.
Takato gulped nervously. He didn't want to go home yet.
"Second vote," said Professor Birch.
He pulled the second parchment from the container.
Butch nodded his head, glancing over at Takato with a smirk on his face. He knew exactly the direction of where that vote came from.
Little bastard, he thought to himself.
"Third vote…" Professor Birch took the vote out and flipped it over.
A frown began to form on Butch's face. Behind him, May reached over to squeeze Takato's hand. The petite boy smiled gratefully at her.
Butch glared at his name on the vote. This has been the third time his name has appeared, and it's starting to even make the confident leader a little uncomfortable. It was too much, too close.
When he got back to camp, Butch knew he had to talk with some of his tribe members about this.
"Fifth vote," Professor Birch said as he pulled out another piece of parchment from the urn. This time - it had a different name.
No. No. No.
Takato closed his eyes, trying his best to remain calm, but it wasn't working. He didn't want to go home. He wasn't ready to leave behind the game, the island, and all the friends that he had made.
Professor Birch turned it over, revealing yet another vote with Takato's name on it.
The petite boy buried his mouth into his hands, hiding his trembling lips from the other players. There were two more votes left in that urn. If both of the votes contained his name on it, Takato would be the first person voted out of the island.
He glanced over at Brock and May for reassurance, but they both looked nervous as well. Neither of them knew if their last-minute campaign managed to sway anybody's vote at all. And neither of them knew about the five-person alliance that was formed behind their backs.
Brock flashed him a weak smile, hinting to Takato to hope for the best.
Hope was the only thing Takato could do right now.
"That's three votes for Takato, and three votes for Butch," recapped Professor Birch. He drew out the seventh vote from the urn. "Seventh vote…"
He turned the parchment over.
Butch gasped sharply. That seventh vote caught him completely off guard. He was in an alliance of five! He wasn't supposed to receive more than three votes tonight.
He turned around to glance at his alliance members. TK and JP looked equally shocked and confused as him, but then Butch caught James' gaze. And he could see inside his evasive green eyes that this was James' vote. This was his doing. He should have expected this from his catty rival all along! Butch should have known better than to trust that no-good, no-honour snake in the grass!
James had betrayed the Breakfast Club.
But Butch still had one trace of hope. There was still one vote left in the urn. It might be four votes against four, and it could still be a tie. Butch could still be saved.
"The eighth and final vote," said Professor Birch as he took out the last parchment in the voting urn.
Had Butch not been so busy staring at the voting urn as Professor Birch drew out the eighth vote, he would've seen the self-satisfied smile on Drew's face right now. It was the type of triumphant smile that resembled somebody patting themselves on the back. It was the type of arrogant smile that Butch constantly wore on his face until he realized that he was this close to getting voted off.
If Butch had seen that smile, he would've known it was all over.
"The first person voted out of the game…"
Professor Birch revealed the last vote.
Takato drew a huge sigh of relief, exchanging happy glances with the equally delighted Brock and May. Their plan worked. Takato was saved.
"Butch, you'll have to bring me your torch," said the professor.
The tall and lanky man reluctantly pulled himself from his seat, grabbing his torch from behind him. JP and TK waved him a goodbye, but Butch didn't respond back. He felt humiliated being voted off first and he just didn't care anymore. They voted him out, the mighty leader. And now, he only wished those traitors would all go straight to hell.
He dragged his feet over to Professor Birch, presenting to the host his weakly lit torch.
"Butch, the tribe has spoken." Professor Birch said as he snuffed Butch's torch.
Without taking another look or so at his tribe members, Butch marched away into the dense forest, disappearing behind the swarm of trees.
And then he was gone.
"Well, you've survived your first tribal council." Professor Birch said to the remaining Huntail tribe members. "For all this talk about keeping your tribe strong, I hope you've made the right decision tonight."
The professor paused to glance at Takato, who was beaming with joy.
"You guys can head back to camp, I'll see you tomorrow."
And as the Huntail tribe disassembled from the tribal council set, a new and subtle shift has suddenly happened to the group dynamics. Brock was now walking in front of everybody else, which was the same location that Butch had positioned himself in during group hikes. The tanned Pokemon Breeder was leading the Huntail tribe back to their camp, followed closely by his pair of allies, Takato and May. Drew and James were behind them, satisfied to be lingering in the middle of the pack. And trailing at the back were TK and JP, isolated from the rest of their tribe.
With the ashes of a fallen leader, a new one had risen in his place.
The Huntail tribe should hope that their new leader would be able to lead them into victory.
- - -
Butch's Final Words
I can't even begin to fathom how pissed off I am at that tribe of losers. I stepped up to the plate as their leader when nobody else would, and they dare to vote me out? Worse yet, they actually kept that obnoxious pipsqueak Takato over me? I'm just baffled with what a stupid decision they've made tonight. You know I'll be laughing at their sorry asses when they keep losing challenges after challenges because of this.
And so much for that stupid Breakfast Club, to the two bastards who betrayed me, I hope the two of you get voted out next, because as soon as I get a hold of you, you're DEAD!
- - -
Next time on Survivor –
Delia's health takes a sharp
Casey: Oh my god, are you alright?
(Delia keels over and vomits on the ground. Beside her, Mimi makes a disgusted face.)
One tribe wins a breathtaking
Professor Birch: Want to know what you're playing for?
(Something is shown. Drew whistles. Delia claps her hands together in joy.)
And two tribe members hook up
for a little island romance…
(Night time, the women are lying next to each other in the shelter.)
Mimi: They aren't in the shelter!
Cassidy: Who's missing?
Mimi: Takuya and Zoe.
All of this and more on - Episode 2: Two Divided By Love
- - -